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Re: copyright in .tex files

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: copyright in .tex files
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 16:11:33 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Thien-Thi Nguyen <address@hidden> writes:

> a common macro in etc/*.tex defines `year' like so:
>   \def\year{2001}
> could a TeXnician confirm that is ok to change this to:
>   \def\year{2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005}
> ?  if no, why not, and what is the right way?

Well, since \year is an internal count register, the _normal_ use
would be


It would seem that the named files violate that convention, and use
\year as a user-defined text macro (you'd have to use \the\year to
refer to the counter, whereas with the macro definition, \year alone
constitutes the reference).

So if any external file would be relying on the _normal_ definition of
\year, it would break.

It would appear, however, that etc/*.tex are purely stand-alone plain
TeX documents.  For such documents, the basic rule is "the right way
is what happens to work".

Apparently, \year will only be referenced in the file itself.  If it
compiles, and looks ok at all places where \year gets used, it is "the
right way".  Personally, I'd prefer to use a different name for the
macro rather than the predefined "\year" in order to avoid people
getting confused, but that consideration has obviously not deterred
the previous authors.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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