[dev-context] should texexec abort if write18, \runMP* needed but not set?

Sanjoy Mahajan sanjoy at MIT.EDU
Thu Jun 11 16:35:52 CEST 2009

In testing a recent ConText (with texlive2008) using my math textbook, I
noticed that the problem backgrounds were not placed correctly.  Below
is a minimal test file where no background shows up.

Eventually I figured out the cause: The defaults are \runMPgraphicsfalse
and \runMPTEXgraphicsfalse and shell_escape = f (in texmf.cnf).  Setting
them all true fixed the backgrounds.

This is with ConTeXt  ver: 2009.06.04 22:20 MKII  (texlive 2008).

Could/should texexec abort if runtime metapost is needed but write18 and
\runMP* are not true?  That way seems safer than silently producing a
document different from what the user expects.

The long-term solution is probably that it all work even if those
variables are not true, but it is probably tricky to implement all the
subprocess communication and coordination.


% sly textbackground method from Aditya Mahajan (2006), "Homework
% Assignments in CONTEXT", PracTEX Journal, No. 4.
    [           mp=background:random,

    path p;
    for i = 1 upto nofmultipars :
      p = (multipars[i]);
      fill p withcolor 0.90white;


\input tufte

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