[tex-live] Re: Debian-TeXlive Proposal II

Gerben Wierda Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Sat Jan 29 18:23:53 CET 2005

On Jan 29, 2005, at 17:56, Frank Küster wrote:

> Gerben Wierda <Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl> schrieb:
>> On Jan 26, 2005, at 22:10, Karl Berry wrote:
>>>> Since I didn't see any sense in TEXMFDIST for a Debian package[1], I
>>>> was inclined not to use it, but keep all files in TEXMFMAIN (plus 
>>>> the
>>>> generated ones in VARTEXMF). I think we should coordinate on this.
>>>     Karl, Sebastian, what do you mean?
>>> I think TL should follow teTeX.  There are a lot of trees now, for
>>> various reasons.
>>> As far as TEXMFDIST goes -- Frank, its purpose, as Fabrice envisioned
>>> it, is not to be "replaced completely with a new tarball".  It's to
>>> provide files which are distribution-independent.  That (in 
>>> principle)
>>> MiKTeX and XEmTeX and teTeX and ... could share.
>> For me, the main goal for texmf and texmf-dist separation is to make
>> separate updates of the TeX programs (say a new pdftex appears) and
>> the basic tree wiith packages, styles, fonts, etc. If the programs
>> change, some parts of texmf change as well (e.g. .pool files), while
>> the texmf tree is more or less independent of the version of programs
>> you are using.
> This is clear, but it is also clear that this rationale does not hold
> any more if one is using a package manager (like dpkg for *deb's, or
> probably also something else for rpm's) that keeps track of every
> file. If you upgrade the texlive Debian package that contains pdftex, 
> it
> will only replace the files in the common TEXMF tree that it installed,
> and leave the others alone.
> I do not suggest that tex-live drop the separation of TEXMFDIST and
> TEXMFMAIN generally. I only suggested that the _Debian_ packages of
> tex-live and of teTeX do it the same way, and I would drop the
> separation. After all, it's just a question of removing one entry from
> TEXMF = ..., and of creating the package in a particular way.

Certainly, but I maintain another redistribution scheme which is not 
debian packages. And it is not per-file based but per-archive based. 
The situation is more complex even. What if something changes wrt 
location. Someone changes layout of some package. You only install the 
new stuff, but how do you make sure the old stuff is removed.

Unpacking on top of something only solves half the problem. In the long 
run, it is possible to get doublures, e/g/ older and newer stuff side 
by side in your tree etc. Which is why my setup has a coarser 

When texmf-dist is reinstalled, I remove it first instead of just 
overwriting. That makes it certain that I don't get doubles in case of 
relocated stuff. There is more, but this is one of my issues. Unless 
debian packages have a memory (e.g. update them they still remember 
what files were installed before they were updated and those files are 
rmeoved before the new ones are installed, you run risks like this one.


More information about the tex-live mailing list