# Pdflatex began stopping on \showthe?

OK, this I cannot really understand..

Basically, I use scite that calls a lua script, and through that, pdflatex. (If scite is ran from a terminal, then the pdflatex output called through it is dumped to the same terminal, and then one can also interact with pdflatex, in case of errors)

Today, I added to one of my files:

\showthe\paperheight
\showthe\pdfpageheight
\showthe\paperwidth
\showthe\pdfpagewidth

... and I'd run pdflatex as usual - and I'd notice this in the log:

? > 0.0pt.
l.6 \showthe\paperheight

? > 845.04684pt.
l.7 \showthe\pdfpageheight

? > 0.0pt.
l.8 \showthe\paperwidth

? > 597.50787pt.
l.9 \showthe\pdfpagewidth

... and pdflatex kept on going, and all was fine.

Then, I keep working - and suddenly, pdflatex does not run over the \showthe commands anymore; instead, it starts waiting for a user input! Here I'd answer with 'scroll', i.e.

? > 845.04684pt.
l.7 \showthe\pdfpageheight

? S
OK, entering \scrollmode...
> 0.0pt.
l.8 \showthe\paperwidth

> 597.50787pt.
l.9 \showthe\pdfpagewidth

... and then it would run through the end!

Now, I am forced to call pdflatex like:

pdflatex -interaction=scrollmode file.tex ...

... so as to cause pdflatex to 'run through' these commands - but now I'm afraid it will not stop on some more serious error (where I'd otherwise prefer it to stop).

Does anyone have an idea about what happened here - and how do I get my old pdflatex behavior back?

\$ pdflatex --version
pdfTeX 3.1415926-1.40.10-2.2 (TeX Live 2009)
kpathsea version 5.0.0
\$ uname -r
2.6.32-26-generic

Cheers!

-
Reading this question title, for a horrified moment I thought it meant TeX used C-style trigraphs. –  Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine Nov 9 '11 at 16:32