[tex-live] tl-pretest: bug in .ini files

Joseph Wright joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk
Wed Apr 13 19:03:36 CEST 2016

On 13/04/2016 17:24, Petr Olsak wrote:
> Hello,
> I started with experimenting with tl-pretest and I have found that the
> pdftexcofig.tex file is generally changed. I know that this is common
> Parkinson's law that sowtware is more and more complicated (without
> exlicit needs). This is exactly such example.
> A pdfTeX user is not interested that LuaTeX changed its primitives. This
> is LuaTeX problem, not pdfTeX problem. And pdftexconfig.tex is used
> primary in .ini files by pdfTeX. So, more good approach is to keep
> pdftexconfig.tex unchanged and only luatexiniconfig.tex should be
> adapted in order to share the same values given in pdftexconfig.tex. We
> need not to create any new file like pdftexconfig.dat.

The aim of splitting the data here is that this allows easy parsing of
the shared information by pdfTeX and LuaTeX. Notably, pdftexconfig.tex
has changed over the years in part to try to 'keep up' with Lua(La)TeX.
There are of course other approaches: for example, one could read
pdftexconfig.tex in Lua and try to extract out the relevant data lines.

There's a wider programming idea that 'data' and 'code' are often best
separated, and parsing the older format of pdftexconfig.tex isn't
particularly attractive. As such, the use of a separate .dat file seemed
to me to be by far the best way of handling multiple requirements. Part
of the plan was that this should also be relatively easy for other tools
to pick up on (though what exactly happens there I leave to the TL experts).

> Now, the bug description: The \unless primitive cannot be used in the
> pdftexconfig.tex file because there are people they generate pdftex
> format without initializing eTeX. 

pdfTeX has had the extensions for many years, and the standard
format-building routine enables them. Indeed, it's pretty unusual to
want no e-TeX but other additions: normally people who want no e-TeX
want Knuth's TeX90. However, I guess it's reasonable (and doable without
massive complexity) to cover the 'no e-TeX' case here. I'll adjust the
'model' files I've submitted to CTAN and presumably that will be picked
up for TL.


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