[tex-k] TeX finding filenames with spaces

Marcin Wolinski wolinski at mimuw.edu.pl
Tue Jan 13 12:10:56 CET 2004

Olaf Weber wrote:

> Can we afford for it to be always on (triptest/spirit-of-license-wise)?

>From tex.web, section 511:
Simple file
names are best, because they make the \TeX\ source files portable;
whenever a file name consists entirely of letters and digits, it should be
treated in the same way by all implementations of \TeX. However, users
need the ability to refer to other files in their environment, especially
when responding to error messages concerning unopenable files; therefore
we want to let them use the syntax that appears in their favorite
operating system.

I think here Knuth encourages you to do so. :-)

Now the question is what "syntax that appears in" Unix is?  Should "foo 
bar.tex" be supported?  Should 'foo bar.tex' and foo\ bar.tex as well?
And "foo\"bar baz"?

In fact all these are features of shell and not the kernel.  It is the
shellish way of supporting spaces. So maybe it would be more in the spirit 
to devise a TeXish way of supporting them, perhaps {foo bar.tex} ?
How would you like optional braces around file names?

With best,

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