[OS X TeX] etex versions

Joachim Kock jkock at ya.com
Fri Mar 4 06:28:28 EST 2005

Hello Gerben and other texperts

in a previous tetex installation I had, etex used .efmt as
suffix for its formats, but in my present installation it
uses .fmt.

I would like to know how a script in the most reliable way
can query the installation for which of the two behaviours
occurs.  I expect to do this by regexping the output of

   etex --version

which starts like

   pdfeTeX 3.141592-1.20a-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.3)
   kpathsea version 3.5.3

My question is which of these three version numbers is the
best to use for comparison, and at which version number
did the design change?

Thanks a lot.

PS: If I knew more about tex distributions I would obviously
browse the change logs, but I don't know where to find them.

Gerben, this is a hint: it would be very useful if your
tex web page could provide pointers to exact change logs.
In fact, two levels of change logs are often required: one
technical with all internal details, and one user-level
change log where at least important changes like
"etex is now just a wrapper for pdfetex" can be looked
up quickly.  (Far too often an upgrade of tex installation
breaks something for some users, and often these upgrades 
are forced upon the user by system administrators or 
hardware upgrades, etc., and easy access to the relevant
information would help a lot to spot the cause of the
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