[OS X TeX] graphicx, pdflatex and pdf file names

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Fri Aug 3 10:58:06 EDT 2007

Le 3 août 07 à 16:34, Chris Goedde a écrit :

> Obviously, this isn't the biggest issue, and there's an easy  
> workaround, so my original problem is solved. But I can't imagine  
> that anyone thinks that a user with a file named foo.bar.pdf is  
> trying to indicate that the extension of the file is  
> actually .bar.pdf. So software that produces that result seems  
> obviously broken and ought to be fixed. That there are other  
> programs that share this same flaw or other operating systems that  
> can't handle files with more than one . in the name is a total red  
> herring, imo.

Disclaimer: I generally agree with you on this topic, namely that it  
should be up to the software to adapt to the user and to the OS, and  
not the other way round. Specifically, due to compatibility with  
software and OSes from another age, we still live with constraints on  
the use of characters in file names, and on the Mac that shouldn't  
be. At least the restriction to 5 characters for file names and 3 for  
extension seems to be gone for good!

That said: you may find, for example, files with names like  
myimage.ps.gz (compressed PS files), where the extension is  
actually .ps.gz, and when used with the graphics package these are  
supposed to be uncompressed on the fly by zcat before being fed to  
the DVI driver. See section 3.1 of graphics.pdf, which mentions  

\DeclareGrahicsRule{.ps.gz}{eps}{.ps.bb}{‘zcat #1}

I imagine the way the graphics package parses file names has been  
designed with that in mind.

Again, this seems essentially useful for backwards compatibility:  
with today's hard drive sizes, I see little incentive for storing  
graphical files in compressed form (and for using the PS format  
altogether), which prevents the files from being be previewed  
directly in the Finder (you need to uncompress them before seeing the  
image within).

Bruno Voisin 
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