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Re: Encoding the name in the file contents

Scripsit Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu>

> Well, the reason I mentioned md5sum in particular is because the
> implementation is in the public domain.  It could be included in the
> LaTeX installation.

Not really - it would break the impotant technical invariant of
LaTeX that it is all written in the TeX macro language. I believe that
this invariant has technical merit: LaTeX should be able to run in
every platform that has a working Knuth-canonical TeX, even on, say,
machines with no C compiler.

A solution that required the LaTeX kernel to be able to interact with
C-based checksumming code such as md5sum, would itself be a case of
sacrificing clear technical wins to enforce a social convention -
exactly the sort of thing that we've used to argue *against* the LaTeX
people's current renaming principle, just more so.

Providing an interaction between TeX code and md5sum in the first
place would not be trivial at all - unless it was done as some sort of
extremely ugly one-time hack (which would have to be done in the TeX
engine, which is presently separate from LaTeX, which is a Good Thing)
it would open up quite disturbing new security perspectives, for

> It might complicate installation, but I can't imagine it would be
> that big of a deal.

Imagine again.

Henning Makholm                                 "Slip den panserraket og læg
                                          dig på jorden med ansigtet nedad!"

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