[texhax] inconsistency between pdftex and tex

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Fri Oct 17 17:44:29 CEST 2003

> Ian Collier wrote:
> [snip]
> > 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.
> It's not TeX, it's something else.  Knuth is /very/ insistent that
> only programs that conform to his strict requirements be called
> "TeX".  A program which interprets a leading comment as a pragmat
> cannot be called TeX; it should be called something else.

oh, do get down off this silly high horse.

you know as well as anyone else that the parsing of these comments is
under user control: if it's done, it's been authorised by the user.
that is, the user wants this additional useful feature of the tex
executable, knowing that it's not standard tex.

and to claim, as you did in a previous mail, that

> >PdfTeX is behaving correctly; a TeX implementation has
> >no business interpreting a comment as a pragmat.

is quite ridiculous.  pdftex is perfectly openly _not_ tex, so why
assert that it's "right" not to do something you disapprove of in a
tex implementation?

and, btw, what is a pragmat?  (something half way between pragma
(singular) and pragamata (plural)?)


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