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

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Mon Jan 31 20:20:50 CET 2005

Hi Frank,

> For the case of b, we could consider to add the tree, there you are
> right. But this wouldn't be TEXMFDIST, but rather something like
> TEXMFDISTLOCAL, if not TEXMFDISTOLDLOCAL. And while I think about it, I
> don't think that it will cause much good: Either it comes after
> TEXMFMAIN, then it doesn't have any effect. Or it comes before it - but
> then the system will for ever stay in the state of the old installed
> tex-live texmf tree, no matter how recent the version in the Debian
> package is.
> Am I misunderstanding something, again?

no -)

a complication is that you want to cover two situations:

- sysyadm installs tex and user ads his/herown stuff
- user installs tex

the first one is the most problematic and most of what you say refers to that;
indeed it does not make sense to have those extra paths there; in the second 
situation the "LOCAL" suffix could go.

the order problem is not related to dist, it also comes into play when 
texmflocal and some kind of texmfhome or so exists alongside: a user outs 
something in his local tree (fonts or so) and some sysadm installs something in 
texmflocal .... what should take precedence ... it depends on what the user 
expects (users ten dto forget that they have stuff in home specific tex paths)

> If a "something" is packaged to extract itself into texmf-dist, it's
> broken, anyway, isn't it? If we have the ordinary tex-live setup with
> texmf-dist, these additional files will be removed by the tex-live
> upgrade, anyway - that's what texmf-dist is for, isn't it?

indeed, but if "john" wants to help "joe" and sends him a zip with a texmf-dist 
root .... such things happen; it becomes even nastier when someone puts a 
package on ctan, and the accompanying manual talks about putting things in dist ...

btw, this makes me wonder: how about installing everything in texmf(main) and 
making a symlink from texmfdist to texmfmain, that way everything ends up in the 
expected place

> Do the manuals tell people to install into texmf-dist? I thought the
> purpose of this directory would be to be able to completely remove it
> and replace it by the new release.

hm, i think that both texmfdist and texmfmain are 'removeable' (at least here i 
just wipe them away, and copy the new texlive stuff onto it); but i'm not that 
sure if all users put their stuff in texmflocal (or texmffonts or texmfproject 
...); i must admit that i use only a small portion of the tree and never install 
packages, but i can imagine manuals/readme's to talk about where to put things

> So we don't need Debian packages of tex-live... Well, some people seem
> to want them; and then we should build them in a way that installing
> additional packages does work.

i dunno, it probably depends on where debian-texlive and debian-tetex differ; 
whatever you do, make sure that users know that they should stick to one or the 
other and not start mixing things

> No, I was thinking about something like texmf-site, analogous to the
> Debian naming of /usr/share/emacs/site-list and /usr/lib/site-python,
> for Emacs Lisp files and (byte-compiled) Python scripts that don't come
> with Emacs or Python themselves.

ok, texmf-site is not used yet afaik

> This doesn't seem to be an issue in a properly configured Debian
> package. There's one HOMETEXMF for every user which works out of the box
> - not more and not less -, and in teTeX 3.0 there will be TEXMFCONFIG
> which additionally supports creation of user-specific formats.

hm, does that one replace texmfvar (or vartexmf) ?


                                           Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
               Ridderstraat 27 | 8061 GH Hasselt | The Netherlands
      tel: 038 477 53 69 | fax: 038 477 53 74 | www.pragma-ade.com
                                              | www.pragma-pod.nl

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