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Sender: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
From: Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 21:29:07 +0100
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Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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>|>|Today, which ones?
>|>     Compaq OpenVMS and IBM OS/MVS are two examples
>|Are these OS's in continued widespread use, or are they dying? -- The thing
>|is that without those OS line separator conventions, one can decide that a
>|line separator should be \n, \r, or a \r\n (as in Java), and that would be
>|platform independent.
>       I am assuming that you are ignorant and not being sarcastic.

Right. -- In my own safe world there are only UNIX, MacOS, and MSOS. I have
absolutely no knowledge about the others. And this line separator keeps
popping up all the time when porting software. So I am curious about other
models, newlines, all right, but also in general.

I got an offline explanation by Phillip Helbig how VMS works.

>       Compaq OpenVMS is dying, I admit.  It is the operating system
>       for the former Digital Equipment Corporation computers, including
>       both DEC VAX computers and DEC Alpha computers.  But, there are
>       quite a few of them still running and many are becoming home or
>       personal systems.  TeX and LaTeX are available for them.
>       I do not see that International Business Machines Corporation
>       going out of business any time soon nor do I see that IBM would
>       be withdrawning its flagship operating system for its large
>       mainframe computers.  These computers have an upward compatible
>       CISC architecture that dates its beginnings from the late 1950's
>       and which had single system installations with multiple gigabytes
>       of RAM and multiple terabytes of disk or disk-like storage in the
>       late 1970's (I know this because I worked on some).  These computers
>       supported some form of interactive user environments since the
>       early 1970's including CICS, TSO and POSIX-X/OPEN environments
>       and frequently support several thousand users at the same time.
>       I seem to recall that TeX and LaTeX has been ported at least
>       once to such systems.
>       I feel that it would be appropriate not to preclude such systems
>       in the future.  All that would be required would be to do a
>       record level translation at TeX's lips to trim trailing spaces
>       if the record format is fixed and append a line terminator and
>       feed that to TeX's mouth.

Thank you for your explanation.

Incidentally, I think that the new MacOS X (Mach based and BSD on the side)
uses something similar to VMS with file attributes (but I have not seen it
in real life).

From what I understand from VMS, one can set a file attributes to provide
the desired translations. Thus, even if one writes a version where files
are opened as binary, with say \n, \r, \r\n interpreted as newlines, one
can set an attribute to provide the proper translation; or this was the
impression I got from Phillip Helbig's description.

-- Under UNIX, MacOS, or MSOS, binary files are not translated at all, so
if one does not make the right newline convention or translate the files
first by some other means, it will not work.

  Hans Aberg