For certain packages to work properly, it seems to be necessary to enable the option --shell-escape, for example with pdflatex and auto-pst-pdf. I am informed that it enables external programs to interact with the engine, in the case of auto-pst-pdf a perl-script, and that this possibility is otherwise not enabled per default.

My question is: What are the dangers or known negative effects of setting this option as a standard?

(Two related questions could be: What is the exact reason this is set per default? Wouldn´t it be desirable to enable pdflatex to interact with external programs per default?)

The reason I am asking this is that I have know set --shell-escape as the standard in my editor. It is necessary for me to do this for certain documents, and I don`t want to bother thinking about it with every new document.


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