[XeTeX] Overfull boxes return status of 0 in XeTeX

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Sun Mar 13 17:15:28 CET 2016

I hav tried the log from a book having 512 pages. It still contains a lot
of underful boxes. The log is not short because the book has 70 chapters,
each in a separate file, and altogether about 80 pictures. The log contains
the names af all files with chapters, all LaTeX packages, each chapter
sends its title via \typeout (which is expanded to \message), and, of
course, the names of image files are listed with additional information
(image dimensions, image types). In order to find how many underful boxes
are there, I used:

grep Underful mybook.log | wc --lines

It outputs a single number. Time needed for such a query was 0.001s. You
can do the same for overful boxes, by modifying the query you can
distinguish overful/underful vboxes and hboxes. Thus within a tiny fraction
of a second you can obtain much more precise information than from the
status code. A simple AWK script will do it in a single run, no need to
repeat grep with several arguments and piping to wc.

It is really much more useful to extraxt such pieces of information and
present them in a tabular form because you have them easily available, it
is not necessary to read the whole log file. If you only get the nonzero
status code, you know that you have a problem somewhere and you cannot find
it without reading the log or without inspecting the output. This is the
very reason why I use such scripts.

Zdeněk Wagner

2016-03-13 16:30 GMT+01:00 Philip Taylor <P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk>:

> Julian Bradfield wrote:
> > You are living 30 years ago. Today (or even 10 years ago), grepping a
> > log file for specified text consumes an unnoticeable amount of time
> > for any log file generated by a non-pathological TeX run, and it
> > allows TeXworks' problems to be solved by TeXworks, as they should be.
> I respectfully disagree.  I am advocating the philosophically correct
> approach, requiring a small amount of work by a small number of people
> -- those responsible for eTeX, PdfTeX and XeTeX :  I assume that LuaTeX
> can already handle this, as opposed to an inelegant and inefficient
> work-around which may require a considerable amount of work by an
> unknown but potentially somewhat larger set of people -- those
> responsible for the various now-and-future front-ends to *TeX.
> Philip Taylor
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