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Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 22 Jan 2009 10:14:42 +0100
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Joseph, Paul

 > > 5) Changing page dimensions in the middle of the document: 
 > > Middlebach says this can't be done, but I have done it in
 > > my newlfm macro, and I say "rubbish" to Frank -
 > > it can be done, and it should be possible.
 > I always thought this was an engine issue.  Shows you what I know!

Joseph, your knowledge is up to date. There is no way to modify horizontal text
dimensions in TeX in mid document, except in very restricted situations. I
think we had these discussions before.

The main restricting reasons are

 - paragraph breaking and page breaking are asynconous, i.e. TeX does
   paragraph shaping before deciding on where to place that paragraph

 - you can't reformat an already broken paragraph into a different shape (as
   the material lost on the ine breaks is not fully recoverable

As a result any document that has an uncertainty where a particular piece of
text will fall (which is effectively any document potentially involving
floats, or documents involving unusually wide displays such as math formulas)
is suffering from that restriction.

If as you claim you have solved this problem within the boundaries of TeX,
then there will be more than one person to applaude and I don't mind if you
say "rubbish" to me.

so I would be very much interested in learning what kind of classes of
documents you believe you can handle and if so how.

(vertical adjustment is a different matter, nobody contested that ever, even
though in std LaTeX today that is also not directly possible)


ps Paul, if you want to turn my name into English Middlesprig or Middlecreek
would come close; Middlebach is a bastard :-)