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Re: TeX capabilities of debian

On Sat, 28 Oct 1995, Charles Blair wrote:

>    I'm trying to decide whether to use the debian version of TeX or 
> (as I'm presently doing) maintain a DOS partition primarily for emTeX.
> Thanks to Ian Jackson for warning me against trying to run emTeX from
> dosemu.
Actually the emTeX browsers are known to run under dosemu and are by far 
the best non-X11 dvi-viewers I ever came across. It would be hard to 
rewrite them for use with svgalib although this is on the way. (But 
don't hold your breath).

>    (1) I have 4 MB of RAM so X is not an option.
There already exists a dvi-browser for the console, using svgalib (I hope 
you own a supported graphics card). I did not yet make a package from it 
because of time contraints. This is on my TODO list. Any volunteers? I 
could give support to overcome the first difficulties.

>    (2) The Packages-master file says texbin depends on metafont, but I
> could not find an entry for a metafont package.
metafont is a virtual package provided by mfbin.

>    (3) The non-X alternative for viewing dvi files seems to involve
> ghostscript.  I am presently not using postscript fonts, and this seems
> to introduce a significant extra level of complexity.  The Packages-master
> file says ghostscript depends on xR6shlib, and I could not find an
> entry for this.
You have an old Package file. Now ghostscript depends on xlibraries.
The extra level of complexity also buys you some goodies like easy 
inclusion of external graphics, virtual font capabilities, better 
manipulation of the output with standard postscript utilities etc.
I would advise to use postscript as an intermediate step wherever 
possible, except for low memory machines (as yours) and low memory laser 
printers (there are still a lot 512K Laserjets hanging around.

>    (4) My machine is not directly connected to a printer.  With emtex,
> there is a specific command (dvihplj) which converts the dvi file to
> another file.  I then copy this file to a floppy, take it to a DOS
> machine which is connected to a printer, and copy the file to
> a printer with the /b switch.  Could I do something similar with debian TeX?
> (again, I would like to avoid postscript/ghostscript.  The printer is
> a laserjet which may or may not support postscript)
Use dvilj. This is the printer driver for you. Runs without big memory 
consumption and creates compact output useable also on older laserjets.


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