[OS X TeX] Building new formats (MacTeX)

Rowland McDonnell rjmm-lists1 at fireflyuk.net
Tue Sep 19 17:34:20 EDT 2006

> On 18-sep-2006, at 1:16, Maarten Sneep wrote:
> > On 17-sep-2006, at 22:23, Rowland McDonnell wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>> and kpsewhich can be used to find which one is used:
> >>
> >> `kpsewhich' returns only:
> >>
> >> Missing argument. Try `kpsewhich --help' for more information.
> >
> > kpsewhich filename, i.e. kpsewhich fmtutil.cnf Do I really have to  
> > spell out every detail?
> >
> >>> /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf/web2c/fmtutil.cnf.
> >>
> >> Which command line incantation did you use to get that answer?
> >>
> >> kpsewhich <options> fmtutil.cnf
> >>
> >> is what you used, correct?  Which options, and why?
> >
> > No options at all. Try! The worst that can happen is that you get  
> > an error message. No, don't try the "rm" command so liberally, but  
> > these tools are fairly robust.
> Gerben brought the following to my attention: In some occasions  
> specifying the wrong or no format or program name yields different  
> results (including no results at all).

Of course!  This is what the documentation tells you it will do, and why
I need to be able to work out what the required format or program name
is for each invocation of kpsewhich; at the moment, I haven't got a

> Causes are unclear (to me it  
> seems like a bug, but it probably _is_ intended behaviour).

Of course it's intended!   kpsewhich is behaving exactly as the man page
tells you it will.  I don't see anything untoward.

kpsewhich searches for particular files in a particular way: each use of
the underlying code library in the `TeX and friends' codebase calls it
in a particular way with particular options, and if you want to get the
same answer, you need to use the same options at the command line.

You *MUST* use the right options to kpsewhich for each file you're
looking for, which means that you *MUST* find out two things for each
file you're trying to find:

1) Which bit of the software precisely is looking for it in context
2) Exactly how that software invokes kpsewhich to find the file

If you don't find out this information, you will run into the sort of
trouble that got you to suggest the wrong form of the command.  I can't
see any way I can find out either piece of information in the general

I can't see any way to find out the needful at all, without an
exhaustive and detailed examination of the source code which I am not
capable of doing.

Point is, I don't just need to know what file I'm looking for, but also
which programs use that file and how they find it, so that I can ask
kpsewhich to find it the same way.

> Examples:
> $ kpsewhich --format='web2c files' fmtutil.cnf
> /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.local/web2c/fmtutil.cnf
> $ kpsewhich fmtutil.cnf
> /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf/web2c/fmtutil.cnf
> And in this case you want the _former_. Sorry for the confusion.

Quite - now do you see why I'm looking for more information?  I'd like
to understand what's going on with all this, so that I can get it right.
Trying out a command cannot help me learn this.

Any idea how I can find out that in order to find the correct
fmtutil.cnf file, I need to use the invocation:

kpsewhich --format='web2c files' fmtutil.cnf


I've got these notes which tell me how to use kpsewhich for two
particular jobs:

kpsewhich --format='web2c files' updmap.cfg: how updmap finds updmap.cfg
(searches TEXMF/web2c)

kpsewhich --format=map <map>: how updmap finds <map> *.map input files
(searches TEXMF/fonts/map//)

So I've got information on kpsewhich for those two jobs, with some idea
`what it is that's doing the searching'.  I've now got a third job I can
do with kpsewhich:

kpsewhich --format='web2c files' fmtutil.cnf

Is this `How fmtutil finds fmtutil.cnf'?, and if so, how could I have
found out for myself?

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