[XeTeX] XeTeX, XeTeXpicfile, and counter-intuitive behaviour

Philip TAYLOR P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Thu Dec 1 19:06:13 CET 2011


Heiko Oberdiek wrote:

> Because they are solving those problems for you and others now
> and in the future. That is one of the main reasons for a package,
> providing an easier interface for tricky low level stuff.

I don't /want/ "an easier interface", Heiko : I /hate/ LaTeX,
with its "Nanny knows best" mentality, and I want to /understand/
"the tricky low level" stuff because it is (a) the most interesting,
(b) the most powerful, and (c) because there is nothing between
me and it to stop me from making it do exactly what I want.

> You are forgetting the e-TeX people (Peter Breitenlohner et. al.),

"Out of the mouths of babes ..." [1]

> xdvipdfmx (Jin-Hwan Cho et. al.), the predecessor dvipdfm(x)
> (Mark A. Wicks et. al.), the font people, the people that make
> the TeX distribution, ...

Accidentally overlooked in my acknowledgements, but never forgotten.
>
> Back to the problems:
>
> * non-effective \vfill\eject: documented in "The TeXbook":
>
>    | Whenever TeX is moving an item from the top of the
>    | "recent contributions" to the bottom of the "current page,"
>    | if the current page does not contain any boxes.
>
>    Remark: This should be fixed:
>      any boxes. ->  any boxes or rules.

The problem is, there is still (as far as I can see) no formal
definition of what sort of <thing> \XeTeXp{df|ic}file inserts.
If there were such a definition, tracking down such bugs would
be very much simpler.

> * \XeTeXpicfile cannot load PDF files: documentd in
>
>    "The XeTeX reference guide" by Will Robertson:
>    | 6 Graphics
>    | ...
>    | \XeTeXpicfile ...
>    | Insert an image. ...
>    |
>    | \XeTeXpdffile ...
>    | Insert (pages of) a PDF. ...
>
>    Remark: It could be improved by saying
>    * that both commands insert a whatsit and
>    * that they should be used inside a \hbox to avoid trouble
>      with discarded items at the top of a page.

That would indeed be a great help.
Philip Taylor
--------
[1] http://tex.loria.fr/moteurs/etex_ref.html