[tex-live] TL in CVS on Berlios

George N. White III aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Mon Jan 12 20:41:59 CET 2004

On Mon, 12 Jan 2004, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:

> Mimi Burbank wrote:
> >> > Apple are just ageing hippies who sell expensive over-designed boxes,
> >>
> >>... and even computer science students do it: get Mac at home,
> >>instead of buing another PC.
> >>
> >>  you should take a look at what's happened with Apple -
> >>        http://www.apple.com/hardware/video/virginiatech/
> >>
> >>
> >>they've made a cluster of macs and it ranks as the 3rd most
> >>powerful "supercomputer" in the world !!!
> >>
> >>
> So, someone tell me why I should want a supercomputer? I am sure someone
> does, but it still seems to me like toys for a few over-indulged
> scientists.

VTI expects "big Mac" to allow them to bring enough new contract money to
pay back the cost in a few years.  There are many fields where useful
insights can be obtained from large scale computations.  As the
cost/performance of these large systems comes down, more people
are finding ways to benefit from them, and even more people are
under pressure to have supercomputer projects even if they don't have
a clue what they are doing.  The advantage of working for the clueless
on big, expensive, projects (like, say, a missle defense system)
is that they can't tell if you are giving them garbage results.

All of which has nothing to do with finding a good home for TL2004, but
does serve to raise the point that the pro bono efforts of over-indulged
scientists is not enough to produce a good distribution.  TL needs real
(but small), stable long-term financial support to ensure the code is
accessible to maintainers thru a decent source-code control system.

Participants in this forum should be testing and coding, not worrying
about finding a free host site.  The AMS is the obvious candidate to
provide long-term administrative support, but other societies that use TeX
for publications should help defer the costs.

George N. White III  <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
  Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada

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