[tex-live] Having a .fmt for different engines

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Fri Jan 5 14:13:54 CET 2007

On 5 Jan 2007, at 12:53 pm, Norbert Preining wrote:

> Here is a fix for two things:
> - TeXs idea of engine is not the binary, use texengine settings
> - --missing needs a kpsewhich call with -engine=$texengine
> This patch applies on top of yours!

Thanks for this. Presumably recreate_existing() also needs "-engine= 
$texengine" added to the kpsewhich command; I've done that in my copy  
here. The revised patch against TL, incorporating your fixes, is  
attached for reference.

However, the question that remains is whether this is a change that  
we want to make at this time.

Personally, I'd say yes (once people have tested it!); I think it's  
harmless to "normal" users, while allowing more advanced/complex  
setups to work more easily. I don't agree with Reinhard's statement:

> But there is a good reason not to change the TDS: At the moment Taco
> is merging the functionality of aleph into pdftex and he plans to add
> the functionality of xetex to pdftex too.  As far as format files
> are concerned we just need a workaround, not a final solution.  The
> issue we are discussing here will not exist any more in about two
> years.

IMO, it's too early to know what the future of the pdftex project is  
going to be, and how soon we might converge on a single engine. And  
in any case, it's entirely possible that around the same time as  
xepdflualephtex <grin> is completed, some new idea will spring up and  
give us another variant engine, which we'll need to support for a few  

The architecture is pretty much there to allow engine-specific  
subdirs, and it seems like a sensible thing to do. If in a few years  
time it proves to be redundant, it still won't be doing any harm.


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