[tex-k] TeX finding filenames with spaces

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Wed Jan 14 08:28:07 CET 2004

>     I don't see any essential difference between \input with optional braces,
>     and \input with optional quotes.
> I suppose not, technically.  But I still think quotes are better,
> because 1) braces are special to TeX and using optional braces to
> delimit the filename seems like a great source of confusion, and 2)
> fpTeX and MikTeX already use quotes.  Why be gratitiously incompatible
> with existing practice?

also, remember that braces after \input are syntactically significant
in latex.  may not bother you lot, but to rewrite chunks of latex
would be as nothing in comparison with refuting the zillions of latex
books out there.

in fact, whatever happens, latex is going to have trouble (i
think[*]), but my mental model of the code that might get written is
simpler in the quote case.

>     But, why not lean toward whatever mechanism is used for outputting
>     special characters in \special{} and \write{} and \message{}?
> Because people want to say \input "foo bar" and not have to mess around
> with getting a special space expanded in their filename?  They just want
> it to work.  That's my understanding anyway.

there's plainly a case for extending the syntax to other areas, but
istm that it's mostly a problem for the dvi drivers (and the like).
while it would be nice to legislate for what external programs do with
filenames emitted by tex, we unfortunately now emit filenames into pdf
and the chances of influencing adobe have much in common with those of
the snowball in hell.


[*] the graphics package (at least) interprets file names to determine
if the user has specified a graphics format.

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