[tex-live] Updating packages over the internet a la MiKTeX

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Sun Jun 6 15:12:11 CEST 2004

sebastian writes:

> Gerben Wierda wrote:
> > It could be a lot simpler if we had one repository with versioning
> > and 'quality control' (read TDS conformance). Or in other words,
> > CTAN is only usable for geeks (read the install docs, run scripts,
> > makefiles, etc) but a true repository could be used automatically by
> > software without simple users being confronted with technical
> > stuff. A bit like the MiKTeX cache in CTAN is.
> Surely we already have what you want? we have the geeks resource in
> CTAN, and the quality-controlled, TDS-ized subset in TeX Live.
> All that is missing is replication of TL as a public resource, and a
> web service front end for TL.

we had a suggestion from christian, while we were in darmstadt, that we
consider a programmable front end for ctan.  i see no difficulty in
principle in creating a soap service that would sit (at least) on the
main ctan sites.

if we can see our way to getting the texlive tree available for
mirroring, i see no difficulty (now that i've a user-group supplied
machine at last) in making room for that tree on ctan sites.  (dunno
about mirroring).

so the question is, do we need to maintain the "geek" archive?

well, yes, i would say.  tex live is never going to offer all the odds
and ends that ctan has; we don't all have the sort of energy sebastian
(must have) had when he started tex live ... for me, starting on
"quality assurance" of everything left behind by tex live is

i think the issue here is how to deal with the ctan holdings of things
that _are_ in the tex live repository.  i can think of arguments in
almost all directions about this...

> > The situation is now the opposite of logical and it results in
> > maintenance in more than one place. That is a waste of energy.
> I am not understanding this. Where is maintenance work being duplicated?

i'm not qualified to speak here: i don't have a clear idea of how people
use the tl repository?  do christian and his merry men(man?) use tl, or
do they work elsewhere?  the results appear on different timetables for
miktex and fptex, for sure.


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