[OS X TeX] Different LaTeX interaction modes

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Tue Oct 9 19:47:03 EDT 2007

On 10/10/2007, at 7:31 AM, Paul Mantz wrote:

> I'm sorry, I should have been more clear.  I am rendering .png files
> for web display using LaTeX, and I am rendering them in the following
> order:
> .tex to .dvi (latex)
> .dvi to .png (dvipng)
> The interaction modes I'm referring to are internals of latex, and can
> be invoked by typing:
> latex -interaction=batchmode
> or
> latex -interaction=nonstopmode
> The former is nice and quiet and has no screen output, but halts on
> any error, so you have to go through and look at the log files if
> anything is awry.  I'm still trying to figure out more about the
> latter.

This mode (which can also be invoked by putting  \nonstopmode
on the first line of a TeX job) is non-interactive.
That is, it does not stop at errors, by tries to continue,
hoping to be able to finish.

It is like typing  q<return>  (quiet mode) in the console
when a TeX error is encountered interactively. TeX tries
to finish the job without stopping --- it prints messages
to the .log file, but not to the console window.

This is what LaTeX2HTML uses, when processing  images.tex
to make often many (small) images use on a web-site.
(Maybe it would be better to use  dvipng  instead?)

> What my scripts do is chop up the files and render various chunks of
> it so that they can be linked into a mysql database for display on the
> web; but that part is unimportant.  One of the differences I noticed
> was in the mode, but  I found that the interaction mode isn't the
> problem.  I would like to find some more in-depth documentation on
> these so I can figure out what is the best option.
> I found out that my actual problem is that since I am calling these
> programs from within Apache, the $HOME variable isn't set, so kpathsea
> doesn't know where my user texmf tree is.

Yes. This is a security feature of Apache.
You do not want cleverly crafted malicious input to cause
a program to execute on your server unintentionally (by you,
but intentional by the malicious attacker).

You must tell the job full paths to executables, or setup all
appropriate path variables for binaries and resources
that your job needs.

> Thus, I had to move my
> ~/Library/texmf/ folder into /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/, which is
> not such a big deal.  What is annoying, however, is that dvipng is not
> reading my fonts!  latex is running fine and sees my font, but dvipng
> is incapable of finding it.  For reference, I am using Trebuchet MS,
> generated from a TrueType format into type1 format, and now stored at
> texmf-/local/fonts/type1.
> I mentioned ricoh only because I thought my problem might be
> associated to the modes, but that makes no sense in retrospect.
> However, I am wondering why kpathsea is not loading my fonts for
> dvipng, but is for latex.  Does anyone have any insight into that?
> There's no mention of dvipng in texmf.cnf, so what is its include path
> most resemble?

dvipng  has a -d #   (debug)  option,  # is a number.

Run one of your jobs with this set appropriately to show where it
is looking for fonts, or whatever. That should tell you which
variables need to be setup properly as part of your jobs.

> Thanks,
> Paul

Hope this helps,


Ross Moore                                         ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                             office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                               tel: +61 +2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                            fax: +61 +2 9850 8114

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