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

Thu Dec 1 20:13:12 CET 2011

On Thu, Dec 01, 2011 at 06:06:13PM +0000, Philip TAYLOR wrote:

> 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,

Then use a ConTeXt module or whatever.

And the syntax of graphicx' \includegraphics:

\includegraphics[<key value list>]{<image file>}

is not very special that this can only be used in 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.

Then, please, don't surprise me, that you are suprised that TeX
has surprised you. ;-)

> >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,"
> >   | it discards a discardable item (glue, kern, or penalty)
> >   | 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.

Yes, I don't know a complete, comprehensive documentation of XeTeX.
I am aware of:
* Mark A. Wicks: Dvipdfm User's Manual (dvipdfm.pdf)
* Jin-Hwan Cho: DVI specials for PDF generation;
TUGboat, Volume 30 (2009), No. 1 (dvipdfmx-special.pdf)
* Will Robertson: The XeTeX reference guide (XeTeX-reference.pdf)

> >* \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.

Can you rephrase this in understandable words
and in excellent English of course :-)
and send the result to Will that he can update
the reference guide?

Yours sincerely
Heiko Oberdiek