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

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Sat Jan 29 21:28:09 CET 2005

karl at freefriends.org (Karl Berry) schrieb:

>     I only suggested that the _Debian_ packages of tex-live and of teTeX
>     do it the same way, and I would drop the separation.
> I don't see the benefit of Debian rearranging the original source in
> this major way.  Do you just not like /usr/share/texmf-dist?

>From the point of view of a Debian package, it's just a useless
separation. When I first decided not to use it, I only thought about
teTeX on Debian.  And since teTeX is a little different on every system,
I didn't care to drop that (for me) useless duplication. Well, I might
change my mind. But up to now, I have not yet read any convincing
reasoning why I should use texmf-dist.

> (Personally I think /usr/TeX makes a lot more sense, would be less
> implementation work and better for users, but I know that's not going to
> go anywhere.)

And that's good. Every software that has some plugins, add-ons or
whatever would want a directory in /usr.

> One big hypothetical -- if there was another TeX distribution (e.g.,
> miktex) that was available on debian, it could reuse (and depend on)
> texmf-dist packages, but you wouldn't want to try to somehow use part of
> texmf from different binaries.  Ok, it doesn't exist today, but ...

I don't see the problem - that could be done without texmf-dist,
too. tex-live-binary packages would install their corresponding pool
files into TEXMFMAIN/web2c, and conflict with teTeX's or miktex's binary
packages. teTeX's texmf packages would install their TeX input files
into TEXMFMAIN/tex, TEXMFMAIN/fonts and so on (and possibly some in
TEXMFMAIN/web2c), and conflict with the particular texmf-package from
tex-live or miktex that also installs these files; but the
texmf-packages of either distribution could still be used with the
binary packages of any other. Conflicts are needed only where two
packages install the same files, and depends can provide alternatives:

Depends: tetex-base | tex-live-basetemxf | miktex-texmfbase

But they can happily install files into the same directories or
directory trees.

>     After all, it's just a question of removing one entry from
>     TEXMF = ..., and of creating the package in a particular way.
> "Just"?  You're moving hundreds of megabytes to a different location ...

Well, technically every file from the old package is removed, and the
file from the new package installed, even if the files are the
same. Therefore it doesn't make a difference if the file is in the same
directory or not.

And from the point of view of a Debian user who is acquainted to
tetex-2.0.2, we would only have to move files to a different location
when we *do* use TEXMF-DIST; if we don't, the files can stay in
/usr/share/texmf, just where they are now.

I think that it is less error prone that a user who previously installed
tex-live by hand now finds out that there is no separate directory, than
that a user (or maintainer) of Debian puts files into the wrong one -
especially given that it doesn't make a difference: Separating the
directories would only be because "we decided it", but in fact it
doesn't matter where the file is put, it simply works, here and there.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Inst. f. Biochemie der Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer

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