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Re: Long (font) filenames


I was glad to see your long mail about a long filename proposal.
I'll comment on it soon -- I need to make another fontname release
anyway, and it would be nice to have better long name stuff in there.

But as for the 8.3 limitation and getting rid of it, I'd like to point
out that the mechanisms for using long filenames have been around for
years in the Web2c distribution (and I think others,too, but I'm not
sure), in the form of a mapping file: after a entry such as
Times-Roman ptmr
then TeX will recogize \font\f = Times-Roman.

There are mapping files included in the distribution to make all the
standard PostScript font names (and a lot more) work.

But no one (including myself) has ever taken advantage of all this (that
I know of), because the name of the actual file still has to be 8.3 if
it's to end up on a CD-ROM.

Your approach of making subdirectories out of long names is interesting.
But I fear it runs afoul of the ISO-9660 limitation of 8 directory
levels.  Also, directory names with extensions are not valid in ISO-9660
even though they work on old MS-DOS filesystems.

However, CD's don't necessarily have to follow ISO 9660 to be useful --
the TeX Live CD (the only one I have an even passing familiarity with)
uses the usual Rock Ridge extensions.  People with 8.3 just can't run
off the CD (as far as I know); they just install the DOS distribution
>From the CD to disk instead.  I don't know if Rock Ridge relaxes the
8-directory-level limitation.

Long filenames are obviously a good thing, but whether they'll get
widely adopted in the TeX world soon, I don't know.  Many people do put
out files with non-8.3 names already.

I'm not sure what conclusion to draw from all this :-).
Except maybe that there's no one answer.