[texhax] inconsistency between pdftex and tex

Ian Collier imc at comlab.ox.ac.uk
Fri Oct 17 15:32:02 CEST 2003

"Philip TAYLOR [PC87S-O/XP]" told texhax:
>David Cantor wrote:
>| I have a latex file whose first line is "%&latex".  If I run this with
>| tex it reads the latex format file.  If I run it with pdftex it
>| doesn't and I have to use pdflatex.

When I try this, pdftex says "(Fatal format file error; I'm stymied)".
The reason for that is that the format file is called pdflatex.fmt - the
file latex.fmt can only be used with the non-pdf version of TeX.
(This is with pdftex 1.00b-pretest-20020211, incidentally.)

>PdfTeX is behaving correctly; a TeX implementation has
>no business interpreting a comment as a pragmat.  I suggest
>you complain to author of your "TeX" implementation, since
>what has been supplied as "TeX" clearly doesn't meet Knuth's
>requirements for a program of that name.

Well, since Web2C does this (since 7.2 at least) I bet the version of
TeX you are using right now does it too.  It's not something I ever use,
but I don't really see what you have against this behaviour.
---- Ian Collier : imc at comlab.ox.ac.uk : WWW page below
------ http://users.comlab.ox.ac.uk/ian.collier/imc.shtml

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