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Re: Available papersizes vs. default papersizes

Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk> wrote:

> On Sun, 2008-08-03 at 18:44 +0200, Frank Küster wrote:
> <snip>
>> Therefore I asked upstream whether they'd be willing to add more paper
>> sizes, and they said they would accept patches. However, they also said
>> that they didn't want to bloat the code with information about paper
>> sizes which no one will ever use as a system-wide default paper.
> Why does this need to be in code?  So long as you only care about
> rectangular sizes, it seems like it would be trivial to implement a
> configuration file syntax for specifying sizes.  Then that would be easy
> to extend without "bloat".

The only problem is that the configuration file syntax is already there
(and has been for more than a decade).  And although the lines
specifying a paper size are rather simple in most of them, parsing and
writing the complete file is hard. 

On the other hand, there is already upstream code to parse and write
these files, and there's even a script which can, in principle, handle
the default paper size for at least the three most relevant programs. I
don't think it makes sense to reinvent all this. And for sure I'm not
going to do it.

> <snip>
>> Some argued that every
>> paper which can be fed to a printer on the market might be used as
>> default size on a particular system.
> Well, why not?

Don't know, but the bottom line is that if I want TeXLive in Debian to
support all libpaper-supported sizes, I have to keep a patch, since
upstream doesn't like the idea. If I could come up with four or eight
"sensible" or "frequently used" ones, I could spare myself the patching.

Regards, Frank

Frank Küster
Debian Developer (TeXLive)
ADFC Miltenberg
B90/Grüne KV Miltenberg

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