[XeTeX] about xdvipdfmx in Mac OSX

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Sat May 20 16:32:05 CEST 2006

On 20 May 2006, at 1:29 pm, Dalyoung wrote:

> Dear all,
> I updated ConTeXt and run XeTeX+ConTeXt using the command "texmfstart
> texexec --xetex file.tex",
> then it produce file.xdv not file.pdf. Hence I have to do one more
> step "xdv2pdf file.xdv".
> But there is white blank spaces for all the figures. Is it related
> with xdvipdfmx?

It probably means that ConTeXt is generating \special commands to  
insert the figures, which are not recognized by xdv2pdf.

> I have read that xdvipdfmx is the default driver for XeTeX in Linux.
> Is it also true for Mac OSX? But, there is no xdvipdfmx in my Mac
> system(G5, OSX 10.4.6).
> If XeTeX+ConTeXt need xdvipdfmx, how to make it in Mac OS X?

I thought Adam Lindsay had set up XeTeX support in ConTeXt so that it  
would work with xdv2pdf, using the built-in XeTeX commands for  
graphics (\XeTeXpicfile). But I don't know any details of this. Maybe  
Hans or Adam can advise.

On Linux, there is no xdv2pdf, and we use xdvipdfmx instead; while  
this has some (limited) support for the built-in XeTeX graphics  
commands, it also supports the existing dvipdfm[x] \special commands,  
and so ConTeXt has the option of working with those.

Eventually, we expect to have xdvipdfmx available on Mac OS X as an  
alternative driver (perhaps it will become the default here too), but  
it is not ready at this time. (It's possible to build and run, but it  
will not support all the required Mac font formats, and depends on  
X11-related stuff that not all Mac users have installed.)

So at this point, ConTeXt (and other formats) may want to support  
graphics in two different ways when working with XeTeX, depending  
which output driver is in use. This is inconvenient, I know  
(especially as it is not possible to distinguish the drivers from  
within the TeX job), and should be corrected as the software is  
developed further.


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