[tex-live] binaries 'unification'

Gerben Wierda Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Thu Nov 11 21:08:46 CET 2004

On 11 Nov 2004, at 19:24, Vladimir Volovich wrote:

> "VV" == Vladimir Volovich writes:
>  VV> 2) Why you added only a few altpdf* scripts? A lot of them are
>  VV> missing! Then add a few more dozens of them for all other
>  VV> formats. ;-)
>  VV> So just get rid of this silliness, and use just one altpdf
>  VV> script. :-)
> I apologize for this phrase which may look rude (which was not
> intentional, and i realized that after sending the message).
> I just wanted to say that it does not make sense to have tons of
> altpdf*** scripts for several reasons (main of which is that you
> cannot guarantee to have altpdf*** for every possible format; also it
> bloats the binary dirs), and it is much better to use just one script.

I agree. Note we do not disagree that one scritp is better.

altpdftex was written originally when also for TeX Live we had a system 
where you had multiple links to the same program. The texlinks program 
is even still in TeX Live.

Though I agree that your idea is better (in fact I argued the same with 
respect to tex4ht a year ago and Eitan made the switch), I'd hate to do 
that now. The reason is that I ship a distribution which has both 
TL2003 and TL2004 available so users can go back to TL2003 if they have 
problems with TL2004. But if both would have a different calling 
sequence for altpdf, the current frontends would have to be reworked, 
in other words, it would immediately stop working with existing 
frontends. I'd hate to put that to my unsuspecting and *very* 
atechnical users.

A migration would entail for me to produce an alternate, say 
newaltpdftex with your syntax, the release that side by side with the 
current setup and then end support for the old stuff a year from now to 
give everybody (frontend designers who rely on altpdflatex and friends 
to be available) time to migrate.

It is a good plan, and I'll look into this. But not immediately 
(pressed for time), sorry.


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