Older blog entries for karlberry (starting at number 211)

I sent these ideas for url.sty to Don Arseneau a few days ago. While awaiting his reply, though I'd post here too.

1. It seems like & should be a special character, since it's one of the url separators. If you think it's too late to add it by default, we could at least have an option like [amp] to turn it on. What I did for now was just:


\let\saveurlbreaks=\UrlBreaks
\def\UrlBreaks{\do\&\saveurlbreaks}

2. I often find myself needing to explicitly force a line break instead a url. I've used ! for this. Another option, like [bangnewline] or something? I can't think of a good way to make the special character configurable, or to do it on a per-url basis, either of which would probably be better. What I did for now:


\mathcode`\!="8000
\let\saveurlspecials=\UrlSpecials
\def\UrlSpecials{\do\!{\newline}\saveurlspecials}

3. Sometimes I find myself wanting to allow stretchy glue around / characters (only) to help with justification, etc. In practice it's proven too much to allow glue around any of the other usual characters. Unfortunately this now allows a line break between the slashes of http://, but again, nothing obvious came to mind for dealing with that :(.


\mathcode`\/="8000 % space around /'s.
\def\Urlspaceyslash{%
  \mskip\Urlslashmuskip
  \mathbin{\hbox{/}}% need text / to avoid recursion
  \mskip\Urlslashmuskip}
\let\saveurlspecials=\UrlSpecials
\def\UrlSpecials{\do\/{\Urlspaceyslash}\saveurlspecials}

4. Finally, the documentation is evidently stale. It refers to \Url@do, which I do not see defined. If you like I can work up some updates. (Now that we have url.tex, do we need to keep up the documentation in url.sty? I'd be inclined to remove it instead of maintaining it twice, personally ...)

TUG election results are posted; as usual, no need for a ballot (yay). Welcome Taco Hoekwater and Michael Doob as incoming directors, and Steve Peter as incoming president (new terms will start as of TUG 2011). I'm stepping back to a director position.

So today is the FSF's Day Against DRM.

I just wish some megacorporation would realize there is a market for DRM-free ebooks and the like, and offer an alternative. At least, I have to hope that people would choose books they can loan to friends, etc., given the choice.

Started trial TL builds. Seems to be going ok.

Fixed a bug in kpsewhich that has been latent for 20 years or so, only discovered when kpsewhich -show-path=clua actually showed the path for "lua" instead of "clua". Can't just check that the suffixes are the same, have to check the whole strings. Fun.

Bumped version number for Dvips and XeTeX -- just a few bug fixes for those this year. Taco has already committed the new sources for LuaTeX and MetaPost (lots of changes as usual), and Jerome has updated SyncTeX (internal changes only, I believe). Just a few more pending updates and we can start the builds ...

Replaced MusixTeX's musixflx binary in TeX Live with the new Lua scripts. Always nice to see the build get simpler for a change.

Following up on the TUG newsletter I just sent: with regards to the upcoming election, I'm planning to step down as TUG president and just run for a position on the board this year. Long-time TUG board member Steve Peter has expressed desire and willingness to serve as president, and will be running with my support, FWIW.

For anyone who may be curious, I expect to keep working on TeX Live, TUGboat, and my assorted other TeX and TUG activities. After four terms as president, it just seemed like time to shake things up a bit :).

The It's All Text add-on for firefox and seamonkey lets you edit browser <textarea>s in Emacs. Why didn't I know about this?!

I saw a question in another blog (sorry, I neglected to write down which one) about pdfTeX's \pdfnormaldeviate primitive (also exists in MetaPost). Since I feel semi-responsible for the pdfTeX manual these days, I looked into the sources, talked to Thanh and Taco, refreshed my memory of normal distributions via wikipedia :), and came up with this:

\pdfnormaldeviate

Generate a normally-distributed random integer with a mean of~0 and standard deviation 65\,536. That is, about 68\% of the time, the result will be between $-65536$ and $65536$ (one standard deviation away from the mean). About 95\% of results will be within two standard deviations, and 99.7\% within three. This primitive expands to a list of tokens. \introduced{1.30.0}

Feel free to send me any questions/comments about this or other bits in the pdftex manual. Simplest to email me directly.

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