[NTG-pdftex] Extensions: \pdf$foo or \$foo?

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Thu Jun 30 13:01:38 CEST 2005


Martin Schröder wrote:
> Hi,
> at LinuxTag in Karlsruhe I met with Heiko and Hartmut and we
> talked about pdfTeX. One point discussed was namespace: Till
> lately most new primitives of pdfTeX startet with \pdf (\efcode,
> \lpcode and \rpcode are the only exceptions), but now we have
> some patches that add primitives that don't start with \pdf
> (\leftmarginkern, \rightmarginkern, \elapsedtime, \resettime,
> \random). I'm reluctant to use the non-\pdf-namespace and think
> it better to stay in \pdf.
> 
> Comments?

this is why i wrote a while ago that we need a different prefix, something

\etxelapsedtime

on the other hand thereis hardly any chance for a clash, e.g. if a macro package 
defines \elapsedtime it will still work ok; of course when one in such a macro 
package wants access to the original primitive, one can save its meaning; this 
is what i normally do.

   \let\normalelapsedtime\elapsedtime
   \def\elapsedtime{.... \normalelapsedtime ...}

what we actually need is some access to the original meaning, like 
\primitive\elapsedtime; i dunno how hard it is to implement

   \def\elapsedtime{.... \primitive\elapsedtime ...}

personally i think that we should move forward and not clobber extensions with 
funny prefixes as in \pdfleftmarginkern and such; as said, if a macro package 
wants to use that features, it has to be pdftex aware and as such can take 
measures to save the original meaning

(so we could also argue for removing all \pdf prefixes)

(when etex came available, it introduced primitives that clashed with low level 
context ones; it never was a real problem; one simply cannot extend tex and take 
all packages into account)

Hans


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