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Re: Encoding the name in the file contents

> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 14:58:13 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu>

> Boris Veytsman <borisv@lk.net> wrote:
> > I hate to disappoint you, but this is much more work than you think. 
> > 
> > LaTeX is not a Linux project. It is not even a Unix or Posix
> > project. It is a thing which works on virtually all platforms
> > including Unices, Windows, Mac, OS/2, VM/CVS, VMS, DOS and even Palm
> > Pilots. md5sum software is too system-dependent to be included in
> > LaTeX.
> All of these platforms have C compilers.  In fact, I would wager that
> all of the platforms that TeX runs on have C compilers.  Maybe not
> Forth or Pascal or even C++ compilers, but certainly C compilers.

So what? 

Let me tell you how the things are organized in the TeX world. There
are dozens of TeX implementations. Some are free, some are commercial,
some are open, some are closed. I would not be surprised if some of
these are not written in C and do not use the standard web2c. The
authors of these implementations package LaTeX with their
systems. LaTeX people do not have any control on how it is done other
than the assurance of LPPL that the implemntators do not pack unLaTeX
called LaTeX. In many cases the users "repackage", downloading from
CTAN and installing newer LaTeX or add-ons on their systems. The users
usually do not have access to C compilers for their platforms and do
not want to install one. Mind you, most of them are neither
programmers or system admins -- unlike many people who install

Who is going to compile you C code? The LaTeX people? Can they do this
for all platforms involved?  The authors of the implementations? Why
should they? How long would it take? What happens to the existing
production systems during the transition period?

Even if this were possible, did you consider the logistics nightmare of
conversion of megabytes of LaTeX code written by hunderds of authors
to the new authentificaiton scheme?

The principle of LaTeX is that we cannot assume anything but the
existence of TeX and some friends. I know exactly one LaTeX package
that used something else: earlier versions of psfrag used perl at some
point (I installed perl on an ancient Ultrix specifically to use this
package). Fortunately, this package was rewritten and now it uses only

> The core md5 program in debian is 241 lines.  It includes a header
> with all of the various machine dependencies which is 390 lines.

Do these machines include 286 machine with DOS and djgpp? 

> There is also a wrapper script, which the LaTeX project wouldn't need.
> Don't tell me that 631 lines of C code is too much.  Fiddling with
> that program would be much less work than, for example, participating
> in this discussion.  You probably wouldn't have to modify it anyway.

I am afraid you do not know what you are talking about. This is sad.

> It would be adding a new command to TeX.  Something like
> \verify_package{foo,(foo's MD5sum)}.  Gee, isn't it nice that we can
> modify the TeX engine?

You cannot. 

Good luck


Necessity has no law.
		-- St. Augustine

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