[XeTeX] Overfull boxes return status of 0 in XeTeX

Philip Taylor P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Sun Mar 13 17:41:09 CET 2016

Julian Bradfield wrote:

> Do you have a full list of all possible now-and-future events that 
> you might want to flag this way?

Yes. Anything/everything for which TeX issues a warning, either to the
log file or to the console or both. The TeX source code is so modular
and so well structured that it should be relatively easy to identify
what warnings can be issued.

> What about LaTeX/Plain TeX/AMSTeX warnings? They can be equally
> important, but I don't think the core *TeX engine knows about them.

Then there would need to be a further extension that would allow any
package to signal a warning which could be handled in the same way.

> Just wrap *TeX in a script that greps the log file and accepts your 
> desired command line arguments. Then only *one* person, namely you, 
> has to do the work, and you can make the script available to any
> other front-end authors and maintain it for them. It wouldn't take
> long.

A "script" in what language ?  Each and every front end almost certainly
has its own scripting language, so there is no "one size fits all"
solution when it comes to TeX front ends.  But the *TeX engine is common
to all front ends, so it is at this point of commonality that it makes
most sense to make the change.

> In terms of programmer efficiency, that's much better than asking
> several different people to hack on C (or whatever language *TeX is
> written in) and maintain consistent lists of possible command-line
> switch values every time you think of a new case you want to detect. 
> As observed by several of us, computer time efficiency is irrelevant 
> for such trivial tasks as grepping *TeX log files. (Even on a 
> decade-old computer, the time to grep a typical log file will be 
> measured in a very small number of milliseconds.)

No "grepping" would be needed if *TeX could be asked to optionally
return a non-zero status if a TeX warning had been issued during the
compilation.  TeXworks already searches the log file for errors,
warnings and bad boxes, but only if a non-zero status is returned by the
engine; all I am asking for is for the engine maintainers to help
TeXworks by optionally returning a non-zero status code if a warning had
been issued.

Philip Taylor

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