MICHAEL J. DOWNES
American Mathematical Society
Abstract: Did you ever take on the task of editing a file named texmf.cnf? Did you find it as easy as falling off a log? Or did you find it about as easy as a log falling on your head--in the case of multiple TDS trees, more than one log? In the latter case, you might like to hear about my own quest to make sense out of the labyrinth of TDS/teTeX/kpathsea configuration.
The TDS specification provides a good structural framework for organizing a single TEXMF tree such as the one at the heart of Thomas Esser's teTeX distribution. In practice, however, because of the normal processes of local changes and ongoing upgrades it is often desirable to set up a more elaborate system of multiple TDS trees, one that organizes the pieces that have been added above and beyond the original base tree in a way that makes it easier to cope with continuing change.