Ticket #131 (closed defect: fixed)

Opened 15 years ago

Last modified 15 years ago

dvips uses a4 paper

Reported by: jhawk Owned by: broder
Priority: blocker Milestone:
Component: -- Keywords:
Cc: Fixed in version:
Upstream bug:


dvips -Pmeadow
outputs a file that to the printer that gets dropped on the floor by the printer. Enabling error printouts on the printer:

ERROR: configurationerror
OFFENDING COMMAND: setpagedevice
ERRORING: [/PageSize [595 842]]

i.e. it tries to print on A4 paper. Suck.

Change History

comment:1 Changed 15 years ago by broder

I guess I should mention that opus had an /etc/papersize with "letter" in it, and we also tried setting $PAPERSIZE, so I'm not really sure how to fix this.

comment:2 Changed 15 years ago by broder

Aaron M. Ucko wrote:
> I believe having the relevant metapackage's postinst run
>     texconfig-sys paper letter
> should do the trick.

I'm not entirely clear which package this should go in. Whatever it is, we probably want it in place for debathena-login.

comment:3 Changed 15 years ago by broder

  • Priority changed from major to critical

comment:4 Changed 15 years ago by geofft

This is an upstream bug, I think. Related links in increasing order of relevance:


That said, someone in upstream is not admitting this is a problem, so we should just fix it. (Or flame them more. Or convince Ubuntu to ignore Debian.)

There's also some issue with the geometry or hyperref packages. Maybe we do want a debathena-paper-config package. :-P Or more seriously, debathena-locale-config, and then we can fix Keith's en_US-without-UTF-8 issue and the Firefox en_GB issue in the same package.

Anyway, the Right Answer here is to say \documentclass[letterpaper]{article}, because you don't want your document to be reflowed when you move to Britain, do you?

comment:5 Changed 15 years ago by broder

Wow - those bugs are pretty harsh...

It seems to me that we'd have a hard time making a debathena-{paper,locale}-config package that would cleanly uninstall itself and restore the system to its previous state.

That being said, I think fixing this issue might be more important than caring about that. texconfig does a lot that I'm not sure we want to try and replicate with config-package-dev.

comment:6 Changed 15 years ago by jdreed

Yeah, changing this here is the priority. Absolutely none of our documentation talks about supplying a paper option to documentclass (IIRC it's mentioned exactly once in the Lamport book, near the back), and as jhawk points out, if you're sharing documents with international users (fairly common around here, I bet), they will be sad when they go print it out and it wants letter paper. Also, if users send an A4 document to any of our printers the printers will happily sit there asking to be fed A4 paper until the job times out. This happens all the time with people who come here and bring computers from other locales.

We should fix this now (before it starts screwing over thesis writers soon) - if the fix we choose is not the Right(tm) one, then we can keep this ticket open as a reminder to come up with a better one or harass upstream folks. But people here totally expect LaTeX to default to letter paper.

comment:7 Changed 15 years ago by broder

  • Owner set to broder
  • Keywords proposed added
  • Status changed from new to accepted
  • Component set to --

Ok. debathena-cluster now depends on debathena-tex-config, which should re-configure pdftex, dvips, and a few other utilities to generate letter documents by default. (change uploaded to -proposed)

I still think that this is a package that wants to be in -standard or -clients, but I'm out of energy to fight for it.

We should test installing the package. We should test pdftex and dvips with the package installed. We should uninstall the package and use diff to test that it successfully removes any customizations it installed.

Since this is only going into -cluster for now, I'll be satisfied if someone can just verify the first two of those. This should sit in -proposed for at least 2 business days. I'll move it to production after 2 days, or when someone verifies the package functionality, which ever comes last.

comment:8 Changed 15 years ago by wdc

I happened to have an ancient latex file in my home directory.
I used latex to generate a dvi file which I sent thru dvips.
The output set the paper size to letter.

I then used pdflatex on the same file. Using pdfinfo I was able to
verify that the output was letter sized.

Yay! Basic testing has been accomplished.

comment:9 Changed 15 years ago by broder

  • Keywords proposed removed
  • Status changed from accepted to closed
  • Resolution set to fixed

Deployed today.

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