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Re: Bug#358695: ITP: latex-utils -- utilities for LaTeX/xfig

Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> wrote:

> Scripsit Vincent Danjean <Vincent.Danjean@ens-lyon.org>
>> Package name : latex-compile
>> Description  : easy compiling of complexe (and simple) LaTeX documents
>>  This package provides several tools that aim to simplify the
>>  compilation of LaTeX documents :
> I'm marginally unhappy with the word "compile" here.

Me too, but it's frequently used in this context, and I don't know a
good alternative. 

> LaTeX programs
> are not being _compiled_; they are being _executed_ 

Hm, well, on the other hand it's the pdftex binary that is executed and
reads a file (a couple of them, actually) [1].  Would you say that when
you say "gv paper.ps", paper is executed?  "Interpret" is clearly a
correcter word for what happens, but on the other hand *nobody* uses it
for (La)TeX stuff.  Nobody uses "execute" for (La)TeX documents,

> and their output
> are page descriptions.

(Plus screen output, plus a log file, plus other files.  However, the log
file contains also information that doesn't have anything to do with the
LaTeX document (e.g. it tells you which engine was used, like pdfTeX or
Knuth's TeX, or e-TeX).)

As I said, I'm not happy with "compile", but "execute" or "interpret"
are not at all better.  "Process" is also frequently used, but OTOH this
is pretty unspecific and can mean anything, so I wouldn't recommend this.

Regards, Frank

[1] It's possible to "set up" a TeX system that, when invoked as "latex
<something>[.tex]", always creates a PDF file that prints the text "You
may not use LaTeX", nothing else, and when invoked as "pdflatex
<something>[.tex]", prints a DVI file with that content, irrespective of
the content of <something>.tex.
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX)

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