[dev-context] engine setting in context/texexec

Sanjoy Mahajan sanjoy at mrao.cam.ac.uk
Wed Jan 10 16:14:41 CET 2007

> pdftex 1.40.1 sets engine=pdftex (not pdfetex), but texexec puts created
> formats into web2c/pdfetex, so they won't be found as soon as we have
> pdftex >= 1.40 around.

Indeed.  See the appended email from ntg-context.  I don't see how to
fix the problem, except for the symlink hack that I'm doing now.
Several solutions don't work:

1. Remove all traces of pdfetex etc. -- because parallel installations
   (e.g. tetex or texlive) might use an older pdf(e)tex and need to
   run pdfetex explicitly to get the extensions.

2. Put the formats in web2c/pdftex/ and pass --engine=pdftex to
   texexec, because it (last I tested) looks in web2c/pdfetex/ anyway.

So I haven't found anything better than symlinking web2c/pdftex ->
web2c/pdfetex.  TL2006 is oblivious to the symlink because it doesn't
use the $engine subpath.

TeX path searching is a nightmare!


  Date:    Wed, 03 Jan 2007 21:08:25 GMT
  From:    Sanjoy Mahajan <sanjoy at mrao.cam.ac.uk>
  To:      mailing list for ConTeXt users <ntg-context at ntg.nl>
  Subject: Re: [NTG-context] engine should be pdftex

  > "texexec --make --all" puts the formats in the subdirectory
  > "pdfetex" but I think it should be "pdftex" now.

  If 'now' means with pdftex 1.40.0, I think you're right.  But that
  would break context with earlier pdftex's.  I've made a symlink from
  /var/lib/texmf/web2c/pdftex to pdfetex and all is okay now.
  TexLive2006 works without that hack, because it doesn't put the
  context formats in an $engine subdirectory, which may cause other

  See the thread "debian context updates" (Tue, 02 Jan 2007 20:39:40 GMT).


  `Not all those who wander are lost.' (J.R.R. Tolkien)

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