[Fontinst] Development history reconstruction

ulrik.vieth at arcor.de ulrik.vieth at arcor.de
Sun Jun 21 15:06:13 CEST 2009

Hi Lars,

I don't have a complete collection myself, but I can point you
to my collection on the TeX Historic archives:


Some of this material was reconstructed from old CTAN CDs 
and some came from my personal collection.

What I can recall about the version history is the following:

v1.335 was the last official version on CTAN from Alan Jeffrey
in fonts/utilities/fontinst. It dates back to 1994, but stayed on 
CTAN until it was replaced by 1.80x or 1.90x.

v1.500 and v1.504 came to CTAN as part of fonts/psfonts/tools
and were maintained by Sebastian Rathz.  They back to 1995
and were subsequently updated in 1996-1997 (v1.6.0, v.1.6.1).

v1.7 and v1.8 were short-lived fixes to Sebastian's distribution
which came from me in 1998, before I started to rewrite fontinst 
in ltxdoc. I'm not sure if they ever were submitted to CTAN.

v1.800 and v.1801 were the first versions in fonts/utilities/fontinst
that replaced Alan's version in 1.335.  These versions merged
several changes from Alan's v1.511 and Sebastian's 1.6 and 1.7.

v1.90x were the first versions, when you took over from me
 in 1999.  AFAIK, the first versions were kept on CTAN in 
fonts/uitilities/fontinst-beta, before they replaced v1.801. 

In my archive, some the earlier verisions were distributed
as SHAR files by mail on the fontinst mailing list.
It is quite possible that some early versions didn't even 
arrive on CTAN, before reaching v1.910 or some such.

So much for my take on history.

Regards, Ulrik

P.S: If you want to upload additional versions to the archive,
please contact me, so we can arrange for copying the files.

----- Original Nachricht ----
Von:     Lars Hellström <Lars.Hellstrom at residenset.net>
An:      fontinst mailing list <fontinst at tug.org>
Datum:   21.06.2009 13:34
Betreff: [Fontinst] Development history reconstruction

> I'm not sure if this is anything anyone cares about anymore, but I 
> anyway think I should mention it:
>    I've begun reconstructing the development history of fontinst,
>    in the form of a git repository.
> What prompted me to do this was a request last year (I think from Karl 
> Berry) about resolving a problem with TeX Live, CTAN, and teTeX all 
> providing different versions of fontinst (1.926, 1.928, and 1.929 
> respectively, or something like that). My first impulse was then an 
> "I'd better build a release of the most recent version 1.932, then", 
> but there turned out to be a catch: I couldn't find it! The directory 
> where I thought I had the head of development turned out to contain 
> another 1.929...  After looking in a few more places, I had still found 
> nothing better, but it had become clear that searching manually would 
> take time; I had _many_ versions of fontinst scattered around the hard 
> drives.
> Since I did encounter the tarball from which teTeX had gotten v1.929 I 
> used that to fulfill the request, but resolved to sort it all out 
> eventually; however I realised I would first have to do something to 
> automate the process, and it was not until the last few weeks that I 
> finally got around to this. In 108 directories, my script found 
> instances of fontinst versions
>    1.335
>    1.504 (probably from CTAN:fonts/psnfss, kind of squashed)
>    1.801
>    1.802 (probably an 1.801 with some extra junk file confusing the
>           automated scan-for-version code)
>    1.901
>    1.903
>    1.905
>    1.908
>    1.910
>    1.914
>    1.915
>    1.916
>    1.921
>    1.923
>    1.924
>    1.925
>    1.926
>    1.928
>    1.929
>    1.932 (in 6 different locations, 4 of which have different contents)
>    1.933
> that it then collected in a repository. The next step is to clean these 
> up (since many contain unrelated files, and some are just .dtx sources) 
> and reconstruct a development history from these, just for the sake of 
> having one (archaeology can be fun!).
> One thing that may be observed is however that there are gaps in the 
> above sequence -- I'm pretty sure 1.900 and 1.904 have both been 
> uploaded to CTAN, and the sources themselves speak of versions such as 
> 1.512 and 1.7 -- so if anyone out there is still sitting on a copy of 
> such a beast, then I'd be interested to include it in the history. 
> (Furthermore the 1.504's and early 1.9xx's I have are pretty mangled, 
> so a proper release archive from these periods would be useful for 
> reference.) I expect I'll end up lying a bit, touching up preambles 
> here and there to make sure they work with available materials, and 
> certainly rebuilding some directory structures, but nothing major.
> The question is what to do then... I should certainly make a CTAN 
> release out of the tip of trunk (once I've merged the various 1.93?'s 
> into one), and I can make the repository available for download (right 
> now it's about 12MB, but it'll probably shrink a bit once cleaned up), 
> but perhaps a more ambitious approach would be preferable? It appears 
> fontinst is still available as a project name on SourceForge...
> Another issue is what to do with the non-core material that got caught 
> by the initial collection. Version 1.335 in particular came with an 
> impressive contrib directory, but it seems version increments >0.001 
> have generally thrown away all such auxiliary materials. As there is 
> probably some bitrot involved, doing so may be wise as far as CTAN is 
> concerned, but in a historical archive it could be more fun to let them 
> accumulate (especially if kept as a separate module). There could even 
> be a point in adding other fontinst packages of current or historical 
> significance, even if they have always had separate distribution: 
> cyrfinst, mathfnt, and psnfss are things that come to mind. But this 
> must of course be conditioned by approvals of the various authors.
> Well, that's enough of me rambling! Reactions, thoughts, suggestions 
> anyone?
> Lars Hellström

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