[OS X TeX] Emacs 22.92, %! and TeXShop
jonathan_kew at sil.org
Sat Jan 27 05:55:09 EST 2007
On 27 Jan 2007, at 10:06 am, Peter Dyballa wrote:
> Am 27.01.2007 um 04:13 schrieb Charilaos Skiadas:
>>>> Isn't there a way to tell emacs to treat all files with
>>>> extension "tex" as tex files too?
>>> The issue here is that TeXshop's use of %! can make some of its
>>> source files incompatible with at least
>> Actually for me this is not the issue. The issue, for me, is the
>> inability of emacs to understand as a tex file something that is
>> plainly and without any doubt a tex file.
> You did not pay attention! GNU Emacs does not rely on your
> understanding of what "is plainly and without any doubt a tex
> file." Because a file contents, with what file name extension ever,
> that starts with %! is a PostScript contents. You should learn this
> fact starting today, a thing your PostScript printer could tell you
> at once.
I've been reluctant to jump into this debate, but this is too much!
Peter, it is absurd to claim that any file beginning with "%!" is
PostScript. It's a hint, a clue, nothing more. PostScript does not
"own" those particular two bytes. Emacs's "understanding" in this
case is every bit as crude as relying on a file extension. And all
your PostScript printer can "tell you" is that everything after the
"%" is irrelevant to it; the line is merely a comment, and therefore
ignored, as far as it is concerned.
> This approach is a bit human. At least a few humans are clever and
> do not rely as computers do on the primitive idea that one test can
> determine everything without error.
I guess you're referring to the extension as primitive; the Emacs
approach also seems rather primitive, if it jumps to a conclusion on
the basis of those two bytes alone, regardless of the fact that the
rest of the file looks nothing like PostScript -- something that your
printer will surely confirm if you offer it the document!
It's good that Emacs's approach can be customized; it's just
unfortunate that the initial configuration is apparently so simple-
minded. Checking for the four-byte sequence "%!PS" would be a far
Rather than just complaining, how about submitting a patch to Dick
that would enable TeXShop to recognize several forms of metadata in
files, including Emacs-compatible styles and any others that are in
common use? That should be *in addition to* continuing to recognize
the %!TEX comments that it already supports, so that the many happy
users who have such files, and don't care what Emacs thinks of them,
aren't *forced* to make changes.
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