[NTG-pdftex] About SyncTeX and output-directory option

Jérome Laurens Jerome.Laurens at u-bourgogne.fr
Tue Jan 26 11:08:46 CET 2010

Le 25 janv. 2010 à 14:58, Thanh Han The a écrit :

> On 1/23/10, Jerome Laurens <Jerome.Laurens at u-bourgogne.fr> wrote:
>> Not really. This is just a matter of convention:
>> if someone wants to use the pdftex output directory option and
>> does not really know what name to choose, he can simply use "Factory".
>> That would make life easier when sharing documents as folders.
>> And that would give a better UI experience for newcomers or beginners.
>> Anyway, that is out of topic on this list.
> Karl will be looking into the output directory option. If he
> thinks a default value like "Factory" would be helpful, then
> probably he could add that.
> IMO this change is backward-incompatible; until now giving
> no output dir means using the current dir. If we change the
> default to "Factory", users who don't use this option might
> be surprised since they will not get the output in the current
> dir as expected.

This "Factory" feature should not be managed at the pdftex level, only supported eventually.
In my mind, this is more an option for wrapper tools like texexec or latexmk and all the TeX frontends.

However, the name "Factory" can at least be suggested as a reasonable value of --output-directory in the pdftex man page.
Maybe we can go just a small step further with an optional parameter

pdftex --factory foo.tex

that would be equivalent to

pdftex --output-directory=Factory foo.tex

A wrapper tool like latexmk would support the "Factory" design as follows:
the command "latexmk --factory foo.tex"
would call "pdftex --output-directory=Factory foo.tex"
for backwards compatibility with older pdftex versions

A more clever behavior for pdftex is perfectly possible but is by no means desirable (at least IMO).
For example, latexmk could guess that "Factory" should be used even if no --factory option was given,
by first testing whether some Factory/foo.* file exists.
This "clever" behaviour can be overriden by the --output-directory="." option.

I don't know if many people would use this --factory from the command line,
but the fact that it exists would suggest both users, teachers and frontend developers that
it might be good practice to use it or support it.



More information about the ntg-pdftex mailing list