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On Thu, 15 Feb 2001, Hans Aberg wrote:

> >       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 convetions, one can decide that a
> line separator should be \l, \r, or a \r\l (as in Java), and that would be
> platform independent.

That's totally irrelevant. You are confusing OS level and library level.
What you see in Java is at the library level and has near to nothing to do
with the underlying operating system.

To take OpenVMS, it has various OS level file formats (both stream and
record oriented), many of which can be used for textual data. In every
case you can read characters or lines or whatever if your language library
offers the functionality. In Java you see \r\l, in C \n.

Platform independence is today implemented at the library level, not the
OS level. This was quite different twenty years ago, when OS capabilities
influenced library (and sometimes language) design.

TeX the program was influenced by what Pascal (and particular compilers)
could do.  That's the reason for the implementation in TeX the Pascal
program. If you rip it apart anyway, you can redo that bit with or without
changing the way the program behaves.

And still, it has nothing to do with input encoding or internal
representation.

So, let's not get sidetracked.

Rainer Schöpf