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today i discovered why sometimes, some of my latex output contains tildes (~) in the dvi/pdf version. usually, if you use a tilde in a tex file, it is interpreted as a non-breakable space (except in special circumstances, such as verbatim environments or in \url{…}). but thanks to a “bugfix” to texi2dvi/texi2pdf, which is a wonderful tool as it runs (pdf)latex often enough together with bibtex, makeindex etc., tildes appearing in tex files are now shown as tildes in the dvi/pdf output. which is absolutely inacceptable behaviour.
it seems that this already was reported (see here, here, here), but it is still around. i don’t really know what to think of this – is nobody responsible for working on texi2dvi/texi2pdf? or did people stop using it as it is broken?
anyway, i fixed my local installed version (/usr/bin/texi2dvi) by chaning the line catcode_special=true to catcode_special=false. a more sophisticated version would be nice, which only changes catcode_special for tex files (and not for texinfo files), but i don’t have time for that now.


Kornel wrote on november 17, 2012 at 20:12:

Yes, I also know this bug for quite some time…
And since for example R package manuals are rebuild on CRAN servers, local workarounds do not work for me. Also simply not using a tilde is also not an option since for example bibtex will insert them…
I really hope it will get fixed in a few years… until then some of documents will contain tildes. ;)

felix wrote on november 18, 2012 at 12:07:

This is really annoying.
I now did some more research. When looking at the FTP directory of the texinfo projects, you can see that the most current texinfo distribution is from 2008. But there’s also a standalone texi2dvi script there, which is from 2012. I tried that one, and it works perfectly! But apparently you have to install it yourself; for example, the texinfo package on Ubuntu (which contains texi2dvi) is the 2008 package 4.13a with the 2008 version of texi2dvi. Even in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS from 2012. This is really strange.
I wonder why there is no newer version of the texinfo package with a newer texi2dvi, or why the Debian/Ubuntu texinfo packages do not include the newest texi2dvi…