[texhax] dvi vs pdf

Sam Albers tonightsthenight at gmail.com
Thu Dec 2 19:46:33 CET 2010

Hi Michael,

On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM, Michael Barr <barr at math.mcgill.ca> wrote:

> Here is my reaction to the various replies I have received.  First, as long
> as TeX is TeX it will be required to produce dvi files.  As for pdf, I have
> no doubt that when it is no longer supported, there will be converters.  But
> the journal I help edit has several hundred papers in pdf format (most also
> in dvi and ps).  Who will convert them.  It would be a huge job and we run
> on zero budget.  To see what can happen, what would you do with a Word file
> from, say, 1990?  Each version of Word can handle files from the previous
> version or two, but no further.  So unless that file was continually updated
> from version to version, it is effectively dead.  I don't expect this to
> happen with pdf, but it illustrates the problems.
> I have one further problem with pdf.  I am accustomed to compiling a file,
> previewing it, making changes and then iterate.  I cannot do that with the
> Adobe reader.  I cannot write a new pdf file while the old one is loaded. So
> exit the file from the reader, then compile the new version, load the new
> file, and then find your place again.  I find this intolerable. Someone once
> suggested a different pdf reader and I tried it and found it unsatisfactory
> in other ways (I no longer recall why).  I'll stick to dvi, thank you.

Just as a note here, I experienced a similar hassle using Adobe Reader.
Switching to Ubuntu and the default pdf reader on that OS, Evince, greatly
enhanced my productivity with LaTeX as it auto-refreshes when any changes
are made to the file you are viewing. I cannot overstate how much better
this is and how frustrated I become when I am forced to work with Adobe's

Just another option for you.


> Michael
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Sam Albers
Geography Program
University of Northern British Columbia
3333 University Way
Prince George, British Columbia
Canada, V2N 4Z9
phone: 250 960-6777
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