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2:41 AM
i'm just sitting here. talking to myself. just in case someone comes around who is interested in helping with my question via chat :)
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Q: xelatex: I can't write on file `test.pdf'.

djeikybEvery so often I'll be working and all of a sudden xelatex won't work, saying "I can't write on file `test.pdf'". But why not? Is it something I did? Did I insult xelatex? Now it won't even compile my helloWorld.tex. The input \documentclass{article} \usepackage{fontspec,xltxtra,xunicode} \setm...

 
 
1 hour later…
3:43 AM
@Caramdir should i use texlive from tug? is there something wrong with ubuntu's package?
 
 
5 hours later…
8:35 AM
@djeikyb: The problem with Ubuntu's TeX Live is that it's hopelessly outdated -- even the upcoming 11.04 will still include TeX Live 2009, which is a shame, really. We've had a lot of questions on TeX-SE that caused head-scratching just to find out that the submitter has used old package versions include in 2009 with their issues fixed in recent versions. So it's almost always better to install TeX Live manually on Ubuntu (or any OS, really) and keep it updated.
 
9:17 AM
@MartinTapankov gotcha. didn't realise ubuntu's tex live package was so far behind. i'll see about upgrading. someone mentioned strace -f, which i'll also look into. can't believe i hadn't thought of it already
 
9:58 AM
@AndreyVihrov tentatively, i think you were spot on. just got the problem again and spotted a memory allocation error in the strace output right before xelatex's complaint about writing the pdf. system was near out of ram and i don't use swap. added swap and successfully reran xelatex. i'll keep an eye on it for a day to make sure there aren't additional issues.
@AndreyVihrov i dunno if you want to write an answer so i can upvote it or if it's just as well i answer my own question :)
 
10:12 AM
@djeikyb: That's funny. Did a brk() or mmap() system call fail and did xelatex/xdvipdfmx not report it clearly? That puts the programmers to shame.
@djeikyb: I don't think my comment qualifies as an answer :-)
@djeikyb: Oh, I see, the creation of a new process fails. But then saying "Can't write to test.pdf" is even more obscure.
 
10:43 AM
@AndreyVihrov I don't see any brk() or mmap() failing. Just the clone()
@AndreyVihrov Crazy obscure. Tell me about it ;p Reliably reproducing shouldn't be terribly hard, then I can write a bug report
I would run into a bug my second day using *TeX..haha
 
 
2 hours later…
1:13 PM
What does this say about the average openoffice user? The auto-correct feature that corrects WOrds WIth TWo INitial capitals has a number of exceptions, including stuff like CDs and BSkyB but not BSc and MSc.
 
1:23 PM
@AndrewStacey: Not reproducible in LibreOffice 3.3 (win32): all your examples are de-capitalized, and improperly so: CDs becomes Cds. I usually disable those "helpers" as they don't work 100%, and I absolutely hate having to stop typing to correct the "clever" spell/grammar/capitalization checker.
 
1:35 PM
@MartinTapankov I can imagine that BSkyB is location-dependent (as it's a TV channel in the UK, and some other regions), but I certainly didn't add the exception for CDs myself. I rarely use it, and every time that I do I end up being very grateful for TeX!
 
 
1 hour later…
2:45 PM
It sure is a lot of effort to answer unanswer{able/ed} questions..
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A: how to make a shortcut at toolbar in lyx?

Martin TapankovThis turns out not to be straight-forward at all. You need to do two things: create a new LyX command, and then create new menu item where you want it to appear. First, some pointers: LyX user interface and command files are stored in the ui and commands directories in: ~/.lyx on Linux %USER...

And I don't even use LyX!
 
 
5 hours later…
7:31 PM
I have an answer that needs a question!
 
8:19 PM
@AndrewStacey 'What the *^%& is going on?'
@MartinTapankov You get an upvote for that!
(Down to two left for the day)
 
8:45 PM
@JosephWright Perhaps it would be more obvious if I curved the lines a little.
 
@AndrewStacey Reminiscent of a poster (fountain) pen
 
@JosephWright Exactly. And I can do others as well. There's the standard B4:
(Hmm, with the size of the letters that might be more like a B2)
 
@AndrewStacey I take it this is some Tikz stuff?
 
And my personal favourite, the music score pen:
@JosephWright What else?
(I mean, "What else could it be but TikZ?" not "What other pens would you like me to try?" though if you have an answer to that, I'd be happy to see if I can do it.)
 
@AndrewStacey Copperplate?
Right, we just need a question. Let me think for a second.
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Q: 'Poster style' text

Joseph WrightWhile there are many fine fonts available, occasionally it would be nice to simulate the effects you can get 'by hand' with a poster nib (for a fountain pen). This would let you create a number of 'special effects' easily. Is there an easy way to do this (I guess featuring Tikz).

 
9:01 PM
@JosephWright True copperplate would be very, very difficult as the width of the stroke varies with the pressure of the pen. Simulating that would be ... difficult. False copperplate, with a single weight, is just stroking the path so boring.
@JosephWright The honest answer to your question is "No, there isn't an easy way to do this" as the way I ended up doing it was @#$(*&@$# difficult! But it was one of those "learning journeys" and having learnt, I want to teach! Or at least, put it in a package so that others can do it without the same headaches.
(However, it is now 11pm here so I'll wait until morning to post my code - just to see if anyone else has anything to say first!)
 

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