[tex-live] [patch] More consistent paper handling in texconfig

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Tue Feb 16 21:48:07 CET 2010

On 15 February 2010 Frank Küster wrote:

 > Martin Schröder <martin at oneiros.de> wrote:
 > > 2010/2/14 Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de>:
 > >> On 13 February 2010 Frank Küster wrote:

 > >> > currently texconfig(-sys) handles the setting of the default
 > >> > papersize differently for each executable involved.  The
 > >> > result is that "texconfig paper" only accepts a4 and letter,
 > >> > although most of the individual executables can handle many
 > >> > more.
 > >>
 > >> Hi Frank,
 > >> this is desired because nobody needs more.
 > >
 > > ACK. Remember: "texconfig paper" sets the systemwide default. 
 > Of course, for all "paper-producing" TeX applications.  And
 > "texconfig dvips paper" sets the systemwide default for dvips.
 > Why don't you restrict that to letter and a4?

Simply because texconfig is not actively maintained anymore.

Maybe I should mention that I met Thomas Esser some time ago and asked
him why texconfig supports so many paper formats which don't qualify
as default values.  He told me that when he wrote texconfig, he
didn't care whether a particular size is useful, he just supported the
sizes provided by the various config files.

As far as tlmgr is concerned, I'm convinced that it's not necessary to
support anything but A4 or letter.  It's also not sensible to assign
different paper sizes to different engines except if an admin
deliberately want to confuse his users.  On the other hand, it doesn't
hurt that tlmgr supports all this, though unnecessary, and maybe
confusing.  But tlmgr is Norbert's child and he is the one who has to
decide.  IMO an A4/letter switch for all engines is sufficient.

Remember that we are talking about defaults:

How would you create an A0 poster?  Configure TL system-wide in order
to use A0 by default, switch back to A4 if you have to write a letter,
then switch back to A0 if you want to continue with the poster?  I'm
sure that nobody works this way.


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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