[texhax] inconsistency between pdftex and tex

W. J. Metzger Wesley.Metzger at cern.ch
Sun Oct 19 20:55:12 CEST 2003

I am a bit lost in all this discussion, and I am not really up on the exact
way TeX is implemented in the various distributions.  However, I recall,
vaguely my first encounter with TeX.  That was around 1984 at Stanford
Linear Accelerator Center, which is operated by Stanford University, which
I am sure you all know, is DEK's home.
At that time we were using an IBM370 mainframe, on which TeX was invoked by
a script.  The script parsed the first line of the tex file, in a manner
similar to (or perhaps identical to) that which has been described in this
thread, and invoked TeX accordingly.  Note that it was the method of
invocation, not the program TeX, that did this.
Has this discussion perhaps beem confusing the invocation of TeX with Tex
Cheers, Wes
On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 karl at freefriends.org wrote:
>     "software systems that are fully compatible with each other";
> Yes.  I've seen DEK state (I think in answer to bug reports on
> tex-implementors) that obviously the technical part of the trip test
> cannot catch extensions.  For instance, if some implementation defined a
> new primitive \xyzzy, trip.tex isn't going to know about it, and yet the
> implementation should not be called TeX.  Parsing a %& line falls into
> the same category.
> My dim memory is that another non-technical part of the trip test, that
> "implementors are happy with the way it operates at their installation",
> is the catch-all for stuff like this.
> Anyway, I believe I implemented %& many years ago (or integrated a
> patch, or something, memory fails me), and failed to recognize this, so
> didn't change the name of the program.  Fortunately, sometime since this
> was rectified, and the %&-enabled now announces itself like this:
>   This is TeXk, Version 3.141592 (Web2C 7.5.2)
>    %&-line parsing enabled.
> (There's also an option -parse-first-line to turn it off.)
> So Phil is right that the program shouldn't be called TeX -- and isn't.
> And David is right in his original bug report, that pdftex and tex
> should operate the same way.  I'll mention it on tex-live.
> Finally, I should note that mf and mp operate the same way in re %&, but
> their names haven't been changed yet.  That will have to be fixed in the
> next release.  I'll report that too.
> Thanks,
> k
Dr. W. J. Metzger
                                Experimental High Energy Physics Group
EP Division                     Faculty of Science
CERN                            University of Nijmegen
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e-mail: Wesley.Metzger at cern.ch  e-mail: wes at hef.kun.nl

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