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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
On text documents
Posted May 11, 2012 2:34 UTC (Fri) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
(Not to mention that building TeX requires implementations of at least two language dialects (WEB and \ph) which aren't used for anything else on any modern system; it's easier to make an emulator for the computers that Wordperfect ran on than to make a compiler able to build TeX, although people have done both.)
Posted May 11, 2012 4:33 UTC (Fri) by eru (subscriber, #2753)
Huh? Most Linux distributions provide a TeX package. I believe it is build using a portable C implementation of WEB (web2c), which is a source to source translator. So just C is required for that part. Browsing the READMEs of a recent TeX for Linux implementation (http://www.tug.org/svn/texlive/trunk/Build/) there certainly are also other dependencies for building and auxiliary programs, but that is stuff that typical Linux implementations already provide. Of course bootstrapping TeX for a very different computer and OS from scratch would be a lot of work, but at least it is possible, thanks to the good documentation of teX and its source.
Posted May 11, 2012 16:03 UTC (Fri) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
Posted May 11, 2012 17:07 UTC (Fri) by eru (subscriber, #2753)
the computers that Wordperfect ran on
Posted May 22, 2012 21:15 UTC (Tue) by Wol (guest, #4433)
To the best of my knowledge, WordPerfect files are both backwards AND forwards compatible between v6.0 (released in 1994 as I said) and the latest version.
So incompatibility like this is a deliberate or accidental vendor choice, not something that is inevitable ...
Posted May 26, 2012 19:06 UTC (Sat) by mirabilos (subscriber, #84359)
Posted May 11, 2012 4:49 UTC (Fri) by eru (subscriber, #2753)
I mostly agree from personal experience. I have some large LaTeX documents that were started that long ago, and which I still maintain now and then. Not quite pure LaTeX, because they contain diagrams that were done with xfig (but that also is still available, and quite good for simple diagrams). Some changes in LaTeX (mainly the transition to 3.x) required minor changes to the source, but these were limited just to the macro settings at the beginning of the document. Also I started to use some PostScript-related font packages for much improved PDF output, which slightly changed final layout. But the bulk of the text has not needed any changes attributable only to the formatting tool evolution. Supposing I had not been maintaining the documents for 20 years, suddenly getting them formatted with current versions of the tools might be slightly more work, but not much.
Posted May 11, 2012 5:07 UTC (Fri) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Posted May 12, 2012 15:56 UTC (Sat) by jengelh (subscriber, #33263)
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