TeX Live future

Sebastian Rahtz s.rahtz@elsevier.co.uk
Sat, 17 Apr 1999 16:57:04 +0100

As the people on this list will appreciate, the TeX Live CD is very
much a product of _cooperation_. It has been a great pleasure over the
last 3 months to work with people who have been so generous with their
time and energy (singling out, on this occasion, Fabrice Popineau in
recognition of what he suffered with InstallShield!). In particular, I
have been very happy to have people in Poland and the Czech/Slovak
grouping doing so much careful checking of their material.

Where do we go from here? Having taken so much trouble,  I do not want
to lose the momentum, and I'd like to start a program of keeping the
thing up to date, and more widely available. So you can get an idea of
*my* interests, what I want to achieve this year is (not in any
special priority):

 - complete the checking of the texmf tree against teTeX, so that TeX
   Live is a no more and no less than a genuine superset of teTeX 
 - complete the checking of licenses, so that we know the legal status of
   every package
 - revise the basic/recommended/full categorisation

At that point,  my personal proposal is to split TeX Live into two
products (derived from the same source):

 1. A genuinely FREE TeX distribution, which can be distributed and
   used by anyone. We could make this available as a CD image, among
   other things. The aim would be to make it strict enough that
   Stallman would feel able to distribute it with GNU.
 2. A perhaps more `real-world' product which could definitely be sold
   by TUG etc

so the first would throw out "non-free" packages, and the second would
throw out "no-sell" packages.
Would you be willing to sit on a mailing list for texlive to discuss
its maintenance, and field problems and requests? the list exists
already, but is so far confined to the actual creation of the CD. If
so, could mail Karl Berry (karl@cs.umb.edu) and ask to be added to the
list texlive@www.tug.org?

If I have an email on Monday from Pat Monohon telling me that the
pressing people found the CDs unreadable, you can assume I am on my
way to Oddbins to pick up some bottles of wine to drown my sorrows.

Otherwise, anyone who has not seen it yet has a great treat in store
when they see the TeX Live 4 CD with its specially-drawn Duane Bibby


PS As some of you know, I leave the employment of Elsevier Science in
a weeks time, and start a new job with Oxford University Computing
Services. This will mean a hiatus in my activities, although I should
have no problem continuing with TeX work. I mention it, because I can
easily imagine my email fouling up:-} So be patient, and watch out for