[texhax] adobe 10

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Mon Jun 6 21:06:47 CEST 2011

On 2011-05-29 at 21:33:06 +0200, Philipp Stephani wrote:

 > Am 29.05.2011 um 01:26 schrieb Reinhard Kotucha:

 > > Why?  As I said before, a file exists even after it has been
 > > deleted.  It exists until the last process accessing it dies.  AR
 > > can read from an already opened file whenever it wants,
 > > regardless of whether TeX created a new, incompatible, version of
 > > a file with the same name.  There are actually two distinct
 > > files, though only one of them has a name (a directory entry).
 > > [...]
 > This is not relevant here since AFAIK no TeX engine deletes the
 > destination file before creating it. Unless you delete the file,
 > you have only one file, and the viewer is reading the same file
 > that the engine is writing.

That's true, but if you are using Emacs+AucTeX, or one of the more
colorful TeX IDEs, it's not a big deal to delete the file before.  

 > > See above.  I'm not blaming Microsoft because AR locks the files.
 > > The question is whether programs work properly under Windows if
 > > files are _not_ locked.
 > Depends on the programs. If files are not locked, then concurrent
 > reads/writes must be handled appropriately. Again, nothing related
 > to Windows.  You are constantly assuming that there is some
 > behavior of Windows that would cause problems without locking. I
 > wouldn't rule out that possibility, but I think you have to provide
 > more evidence than just one application that behaves
 > differently. One could imagine many reasons why AR chooses to lock
 > files on Windows, but not on Unix-like systems: maybe they just
 > didn't know about how to do it?

It's not only AR which causes problems.  There were similar problems
when tlmgr was trying to update itself.  Not only tlmgr was locked but
all the files it had opened too, i.e. all Perl modules it was using.
Similar problems when tlmgr tries to uninstall TeX Live.  Someone else
reported similar problems when moving a directory tree around while
one of the files was used by another process.

You could write a small program in C which tries to delete itself or a
file it has opened.  Does this work?
 > >  I think that you can't blame Adobe for the
 > > inconveniences if the locks are necessary under Windows (even though
 > > they can be turned off).
 > I don't blame AR because the TeX community is irrelevant to them.

I'm not sure.  They sort bug reports and feature requests by priority,
which is equivalent to the number of requests they get regarding a
particular issue.  A staff member proposed to organize such requests
on a mailing list so that they get a higher priority. :)

 > Normal users just don't have PDFs that change while viewing, so
 > from Adobe's point of view it is not relevant whether files are
 > locked or not. Perhaps they just didn't read the documentation and
 > passed 0 as the third argument, which enables all locks.

It's not only the lock itself, it would be nice to know whether an
already opened file is preserved after it's deleted.  I suppose that
this is quite system dependent. 
 > > I can only recommend to use a PDF viewer which actually supports
 > > PDF, even if it's a bit clumsy and only free in the sense of free
 > > beer.
 > So you're supporting a non-free software monopoly? ;-) 

You are using Windows, aren't you?  :)

Well, I prefer free software, of course.  But sometimes there is no
free alternative.  What I have at home is free, there are only very
few exceptions, like AR.  At work you often have no other choice.  So
it doesn't make sense to be too religious.

 > Yes, PDF supports 3D graphics, JavaScript, etc., but I don't think
 > it is the right format for these gadgets. Adobe apparently wants to
 > create a competitor to HTML, but in essence PDF (at least most PDF
 > documents I've encountered) is still a static, page-oriented format
 > primarily intended for printing. I think we don't need videos
 > etc. in PDF because we have HTML. HTML is the only document format
 > that everybody agrees upon, its possibilities are endless, and it
 > extends its scope at a tremendous pace. In fact, if I could, I'd
 > dump PDF today in favor of HTML.

I don't think that Adobe regards PDF as a competitor to HTML.  There
is a demand for paperless documents which preserve the layout, and
this can't be done with HTML.


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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