[tex-k] kpathsea: Suppression of warnings about \special commands

Joachim Schrod jschrod at acm.org
Wed Jun 27 23:09:16 CEST 2007


In kpathsea's info documentation, we read

    Kpathsea provides a way to suppress selected usually-harmless warnings;

	 Suppresses warnings about an unimplemented or unparsable
	 `\special' command.

At least dviljk does this liberally: When `special' is set in
TEX_HUSH, *almost all* warnings concerning specials are suppressed.

I.e., when a special is recognized but has the wrong parameters, or
when there are conflicting directives in a special, such warnings are
suppressed as well. The question is: is this `unparsable'? One could
parse the special very well, and recognized (for example) that a
parameter was missing or that a number was wrong.

I would like to get a feeling for the common view on that directive's
intent. What would you prefer:
 1) only warnings about unknown specials are suppressed and
    warnings about problems in recognized specials are still issued,
 2) all warnings should be suppressed by the hush option "special",
 3) "special" means case (2), and a new hush option "unknown_specials"
    is introduced that allows to demand case (1)

In my current use case, the first case would actually be of interest:
I have several specials for different drivers in the same DVI file,
and I want one driver to ignore the specials of the others, but want
to hear about problems with its own specials.

OTOH, there will probably be other use cases (xdvi comes to mind)
where different warning suppression schemas are better.

Therefore: what's your opinion? Which case is / should be / shall be
the intended behaviour of kpathsea and the tex-k tools? (I would
supply some of the changes, but need first some idea which road to


Joachim Schrod				Email: jschrod at acm.org
Roedermark, Germany

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