[XeTeX] XeTeX's bug: specifical filename leads to error

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sun Sep 27 18:13:20 CEST 2009

On Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 8:29 AM, Norman Gray <norman at astro.gla.ac.uk> wrote:
> On 2009 Sep 26, at 16:59, Peter Dyballa wrote:
>> Am 26.09.2009 um 07:38 schrieb masterray:
>>> I use Ubuntu 9.04 + XeTeX 3.1415926-2.2-0.999.6. When I type 'xelatex
>>> vijos\ solutions.tex' or 'xelatex vijos\ solutions.tex ' or other similar
>>> filenames in Bash, XeLaTeX gives strange error message. I ensure my .tex
>>> file is correct and even though 'vijos solutions.tex' is empty, XeLaTeX
>>> gives the error message. I think this must be a filename bug of XeLaTeX.
>> It was acknowledged to be a bug and is fixed in TeX Live 2009-pretest
>> (works quite reliable, needing a proof against this opinion). A workaround
>> is *not* to use bash. Tcsh does not show this. Another workaround, in bash,
>> is to create a hard-link <file_name> of <name with space(s)> and running
>> xelatex on it...
> Out of curiousity, is there a pointer to this bug?

It was the subject of a thread earlier this month.  Quoting a posting
from Jonathan Kew:
I think this is a bug in xetex's filename-quoting code. I have been
able to reproduce the behavior with the current xetex binary from
TL'09, but not with a local build; this is probably due to differences
in compiler version, options, or environment that affect the details
of how memory allocation happens to turn out.

Anyhow, I will check in a fix for what I believe is the underlying
error, and hope that when Dick rebuilds the binaries, the bug will be

(committed to TL as xetex 0.9995.2, svn r.15135)


This suggests the change in shell might hide the bug by affecting
memory allocation. The SVN log entry is:

r15135 | jonathan | 2009-09-05 19:28:24 +0200 (Sat, 05 Sep 2009) | 1 line

xetex 0.9995.2, trying to fix filename-quoting bug

Changed paths:
   M /trunk/Build/source/texk/web2c/lib/texmfmp.c
   M /trunk/Build/source/texk/web2c/xetexdir/xetex.ch

> I tried to reproduce it (with the same XeTeX version) and failed, and I'm
> puzzled thinking of what sort of filename bug could conceivably be worked
> around by a change of shell.
> Don't go to any trouble, anyone, but if you happen to have a URL to hand...
> Best wishes,
> Norman
> --
> Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
> Dept Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, UK

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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