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Re: How to create a PDF-Printer from the command line

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On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 09:02:08AM +0000, Curt wrote:


>  You (a thirty-year veteran latex user we learn elsewhere): Please explain the
>  first step (which is how to create a latex file).
> > than TeX/LaTeX is a useless way to turn a *text* file into a PDF.

Perhaps the conflict can be tackled better by making something
explicit what has been implicit all along: is (La)TeX text, or
is it not? Both standpoints exist, and this dichotomy can even
be seen in the mime types database y'all have received as a
present with your distribution; but note some peculiarity:

  tomas@trotzki:~$ egrep '\<(la)?tex\>' /etc/mime.types 
  application/x-latex                             latex
  application/x-tex-gf                            gf
  application/x-tex-pk                            pk
  text/x-tex                                      tex ltx sty cls

Note something? (I'm ignoring for the moment .gf and .pk, which
arguably can be seen as binary for now). LaTeX goes under the
umbrella "application" (ain't text) and tex (with its LaTeX
sibling sty and LaTeX-3 sibling .cls) under "text". What is
going on here?

A couple of years ago, XML seemed like the promise from the
future, I was looking how to serve XML files over HTTP. For me
(coming from a more Unix-y and free background) it was clearly
"text": everything I can grab at with my vi(m) or Emacs is text,
and XML, though slightly disgusting at times, fell squarely into
that category. So "text/xml" shall it be.

My surprise was not small when I realized that clients from the
Microsoft camp nearly freaked out at that proposal. They wanted

To me, this was a clear culture clash between a DIY, think-for-
yourself culture (hey, it's text: just throw an editor at it
and hack at it) versus an authoritarian one ("only use
with vendor-approved software; warranty void, and if we ever
find out how (DMCA?), we'll send the black helicopters"[1])

Yeah. Both standpoints exist, and I think we should respect
each other and just acknowledge the difference.

But for me, (La)TeX *are* text :-)


[1] Here you notice I've some bias in that: but then, I hope
   you noticed a while ago :)

- -- tomás
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