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|Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 10:27:37 +0100
|From: Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
|Subject: Re: Side remarks about TeX input sequence
|To: "Randolph J. Herber" <[log in to unmask]>
|Cc: LATEX-L <[log in to unmask]>

|At 15:41 -0600 2001/02/14, Randolph J. Herber wrote:
|>|>  In
|>|>the past and even nowadays there exist other file types where the
|>|>end-of-line marker is not part of the file (i.e. a special character),
|>|>e.g. files with a fixed-width record (aka line) length.

|>|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 \l, \r, or a \r\l (as in Java), and that would be
|platform independent.

        I am assuming that you are ignorant and not being sarcastic.

        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.

|  Hans Aberg
|                  * Email: Hans Aberg <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
|                  * Home Page: <http://www.matematik.su.se/~haberg/>
|                  * AMS member listing: <http://www.ams.org/cml/>

Randolph J. Herber, [log in to unmask], +1 630 840 2966, CD/CDFTF PK-149F,
Mail Stop 318, Fermilab, Kirk & Pine Rds., PO Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510-0500,
USA.  (Speaking for myself and not for US, US DOE, FNAL nor URA.)  (Product,
trade, or service marks herein belong to their respective owners.)