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Besides the regular errors, there are fatal errors, like

Fatal error occurred, no output PDF file produced!

I have seen them happen when TeX capacity exceeds, the mysterious seac (see Automatically substitute missing glyph with another in LuaLaTeX) and some stuff with floats.

There are a few questions:

  1. Does this error come directly from the engine?
  2. What is the reason no pfd is produced? Why not just show the pages that were already made?
  3. What can cause these errors?
  4. Are these errors LaTeX-only, or they do not depend on format used? (I am especially interested in ConTeXt)
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    a fatal error is never format specific, it's basically a low level engine stop. no pdf is produced because as it says it's a fatal error so it can not carry on and write a valid pdf file (pdf is not a format where half a file is a valid pdf file) – David Carlisle Jun 2 '18 at 13:26

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