[tex-k] ~ expansion in TEXMFLOCAL from Knuth

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Sat Apr 9 19:12:20 CEST 2005

Knuth sent me this bug report about ~ not being expanded in TEXMFLOCAL.
It's not immediately apparent to me why ~ expansion should not work
there.  Olaf, Thomas, anyone -- any ideas?

He didn't tell me exactly which flavor of TeX he's using, but I am
pretty sure it's the teTeX that came with his (GNU/)Linux (maybe Debian,
maybe not), so it could be rather old.  Don't know the version.  Knuth
being Knuth, I do not want to pester him for additional details without
doing what we can first.


Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 13:36:06 -0700
From: Don Knuth (via his assistant)

Dear Karl,


My texmf.cnf file has lots of shorthand notations
like  ~/foo  in environment variables like TEXINPUTS.tex, and
they work fine on those contexts. But when I set TEXMFLOCAL to
~/sunburn/texmf, on my new Opteron computer, the kpathsea library
couldn't find my local tree. Fortunately I knew enough to run
tex with kpathsea-debug=-1, and it reported
   kdebug:kpse_normalize_path (~/sunburn/texmf/fonts/tfm//) => 0
which was strange because I could see that tfm directory listed
explicitly in ~/sunburn/texmf/ls-R. The cure was to set TEXMFLOCAL
to a full path name, not using the ~ abbreviation.

Probably I was warned somewhere not to use ~, but I missed it.

Cordially, Don

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