[tex-live] Debian Packages of TeXlive

Norbert Preining preining at logic.at
Wed Jan 12 20:16:50 CET 2005

Dear Frank!

On Mit, 12 Jan 2005, Frank Küster wrote:
> I know - this (and the reliable release cycle) is why I would be happy
> to see tex-live in Debian.

Big thanks to all those who work hard, I cannot name them all, but
Sebastian may be taken as their representative!

> > libraries. Libraries are NOT used in TeXlive/linux, all the binaries are
> > linked statically against most libraries (but dynamically against X11
> Debian policy requires that all binaries are dynamically linked if a
> shared library is available. The reason for this is not so much memory

Ok. Here I cannot contribute. I guess we have to check with the Masters
of the auto* stuff. But OTOH, this is something we could fix at the very
and, after we have tested packaging etc and know that it works out, even
with static binaries.

> Did I understand right - this would mean/have meant 75 packages? I'd
> rather reduce this.

Yes, 75 packages for collections, plus bin plus hyphen packages, in
total 185.

Reducing: This is a interesting question. OTOH it would be good to have
a small number of packages, but then, some people really only want a
*small* part of the TeX system, never take a look at all the different
fonts, the chemistry, music*, ...
So there is a big advantage in haven many packages, too.

> > Of course, on the long run (b). But to be honest, I see severe problems
> > with the way texlive is maintained: I would generate the packages from
> > the files already located in their proper places in the texmf tree, not
> I don't see the problem here. When you release tex-live, there is some
> defined state of your version control system (btw, is it publically
> accessible for reading?) that you declare as "the release". You generate

ATM a perforce depot, but we are on the move (cvs/svn).
If you are interested, short usage from Karl/me:
p4 manual:
  p4 help

# envvars for .profile:
P4PORT=sun.dante.de:1666; export P4PORT
P4USER=somename; export P4USER
P4PASSWD=somepw; export P4PASSWD
P4CLIENT=anothername; export P4CLIENT  # i use USERHOST, e.g., karltug

# create user, no particular options needed:
p4 user
# create client, set options  clobber modtime rmdir:
p4 client
# can run p4 user -o, p4 client -o to dump current user/client specs to
# stdout.

# check out the entire repository (~1.4gb):
mkdir $mysrc
cd $mysrc

# open file(s) for editing:
p4 edit filename

# add new files:
p4 add filename

# when ready to commit:
p4 submit

> a filesystem from this and burn it on CD. You can as well pack the
> filesystem[1] into a tar.gz, and that would be the Debian source package
> (together with a *dsc file and the diff.gz with the instructions to
> create the debs). Alternatively, if you sometimes make pre-releases or

Ok, this sounds good for us. We could put the whole tree, and then build
the packages and the binaries from it. GOod. But to be done later.

> snapshots for internal development of only parts of the repository, or
> if you fear disk size problems (tex-live needs a DVD, doesn't it?), you

one is not enough ;-)

> By the way, how do you create the files from dtx files and install them
> in the texmf tree - is this automated, or done by hand as in teTeX? What
> about documentation?

I would say semiautomated. But Sebastian is the one to ask. There are
some scripts (ctan2tds), which knows about a lot packages specialities,
but not all.

> > ATM we have around 75 collections, and around 1000 packages. These
> > packages include more or less everything which is available at CTAN (and
> > what Sebastian is able to submit again and again!).
> What about licenses and the requirement to be Free Software? There are a
> couple of files on CTAN which are distributable, but have certain
> restrictions that go beyond what LPPL does. 

Well, this is a good topic, and I don't want to delve into this
completely, but: Generally in TeXlive there should only be stuff which
is Debian-compatible. 

There may be exceptions, but in case we find them, we try to contact the
authors to fix the permissions, or kill them. (Karl, Sebastian, whoever,
am I right?)

> Hm. I'd like to have a look at the way you currently build your
> debs. And before deciding on the architecture question, we need to get
> clear the dependency structure, as outlined in my previous mails.

Hmm. I attach a gzip file of the structure, listing all the collection
with its debian dependencies and the included packages. If you need some
other form, please tell me.

Ok. Now I will read about the debian-tex-rules.

Best wishes


Norbert Preining <preining AT logic DOT at>         Technische Universität Wien
sip:preining at at43.tuwien.ac.at                             +43 (0) 59966-690018
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