[tex-live] Bad .cfg files in TeX source tree?

David Kastrup dak at gnu.org
Fri Jan 19 15:28:34 CET 2007

Jonathan Kew <jonathan_kew at sil.org> writes:

> On 19 Jan 2007, at 11:32 am, Martin Schröder wrote:
>> 2007/1/19, Heiko Oberdiek <oberdiek at uni-freiburg.de>:
>>> other packages as well. I doesn't know XeTeX, but I don't think,
>>> that XeTeX will be too happy, if feeded with pdfTeX primitives.
> This is true in the general case...
>> AFAIK XeTeX implements the pdfTeX "api" for setting page dimensions,
>> so geometry should be happy.
> Right; \pdfpagewidth and \pdfpageheight are supported, so packages
> that want to set page dimensions (such as geometry.sty and crop.sty)
> can use the same code for xetex as for pdftex.
> Packages like this that test the engine and configure their back-end
> accordingly need to be updated to support xetex; in many cases, this
> will just mean checking for the xetex engine (e.g. using ifxetex.sty)
> and activating the same code as for pdftex. I haven't had time to
> pursue this with all the package maintainers, though (and until xetex
> became part of mainstream distributions, the incentive to support it
> in standard packages wasn't so strong, either).
> The .cfg files in the xelatex tree were created as a workaround to
> get xetex-unaware packages to use the right (pdftex-like) back-end;
> they're not the proper permanent solution, but they've been in use
> for a while now I'm not aware of any reported problems (yet!).
> If we can add a test for xetex, and the appropriate driver setup,
> into standard "global" cfg files for these packages, that would be
> preferable. Then the ones in the xelatex subtree could be removed.

I think this is too complicated.  Packages should just check whether
\pdfpagewidth is defined and set it if it is.

Whether the actual engine is PDFTeX, XeTeX, Aleph or whatever else is
rather irrelevant.

David Kastrup

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