LaTeX forum ⇒ GeneralHow to track down what package invocations lead to loading of upmethodology

LaTeX specific issues not fitting into one of the other forums of this category.
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How to track down what package invocations lead to loading of upmethodology

Postby MereLaTeXusr » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:56 am

I posted a problem with an unrecognized "\makebackcover" command in my LaTeX code at ... s-installe. After an evening of sleuthing, I have a better idea of how to "bound" the problem. The "\makebackcover" command is part of the upmethodology package, but that seems to consist of a collection of files:


I am using pdflatex. The "\makebackcover" error only occurs with my 2020 Cygwin installation of Tex Live, and not my 2015 Cygwin installation. The 2020 installation has all of the above files, and "tlmgr list --only-installed" shows that "upmethodology" package is installed. In both installations, exactly the same document files were used and the user-level texmf trees are identical (it contains corporate template files which I do not understand). No file in the texmf tree contains the string "upmethodology", and neither do the *.log output files. The 2015 "*.log" file doesn't contain the string "makebackcover", while the 2020 "*.log" file does -- because that's where it terminates with the error.

The only way that I can see to track down the problem is to track the package invocations under the 2015 installation to see what series of package inclusions causes package "upmethodology" to be invoked (or some variation thereof, as per the file names above). I tried the code at, but it broke with a series of errors that I cannot decipher.

Is there another way to track the package invocations leading to the loading of upmethodology (or variation thereof)?

I didn't post this in the Tex Live forum because I don't know whether it is specific to Tex Live.

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Ijon Tichy
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Postby Ijon Tichy » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:34 pm

\makebackcover is defined in upmethodology-backpage.sty, but only if \backpage has been defined before. AFAIK this should be done using upmethodology's \Set command, but I've never used it. So it would be better so have a look into the manual.

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Postby MereLaTeXusr » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:26 pm

Thanks, Ijon. That portion of upmethodology-backpage.sty appears to be identical in the 2015 and 2020 installations. The string "backpage" doesn't occur in any of my document files, nor any of the files in my user-level texmf tree, where all the files required by the corporate template reside. In the 2015 installation, therefore, "\backpage" is set by something else.

To me, the problem still seems to be tracking down the cascade of invocations that eventually cause "\backpage" to be defined. It still a problem in invocation tracking. Even if I got smart about the UP methodology, I would still have to defer to how "\backpage" gets set up according to the expectation of the organization.

For my specific problem in the 2020 installation, it looks like I I solved it by including "\usepackage{upmethodology-backpage}". However, this question is more about how to track package invocations rather than my specific problem on this occassion (although the latter is the context for the former -- at least this time). Hoping that there is a solution for this. It would be interesting to see what sequence of invocations in the 2015 installation caused "\backpage" to be defined, and where that is deviated from in the 2020 installation. So far, I haven't heard about it from others in the organization, but I'm a bit of an odd ball in preferring the unix command line over GUIs such as those provided by MiKTeX.

Out of curiosity as to whether pdflatex's *.out log would contain any of the names or messages in upmethodology-backpage.sty. I grepped for "backpage" and "invalid back layout theme:" (both of which appear in the style file), but no. No hints in that direction.

Afternote: The Stack Exchange post ( ... s-installe) suggested tracking package invocations by comparing the 2015 and 2020 terminal output from pdflatex. As it turns out, it didn't provide clues as to how "\makebackcover" got set in the 2015 install.


At least the underlying problem in this instance is solved, even though a method hasn't yet been found to trace how commands have been defined.

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