[tex-live] Proposal for a tex-base package

David Kastrup dak at gnu.org
Wed May 18 00:06:51 CEST 2005

"Nelson H. F. Beebe" <beebe at math.utah.edu> writes:

> Norbert Preining <preining at logic.at> writes on Tue, 17 May 2005
> 18:55:50 +0200 about a proposal for a tex-base package:
>>> ...
>>> ATM I would suggest:
>>>         /usr/sbin/update-{fmtutil,texmf,updmap}
>>>         /etc/texmf/updmap.d/00updmap.cfg
>>>         /etc/texmf/texmf.d/*
>>>         /etc/texmf/fmt.d/00tetex.cnf
>>> ...
> Can we please get away from the practice of putting stuff in
> /usr/sbin and /etc, in favor of a location like /usr/local/sbin and
> /usr/local/share/etc that can be (and at my site, are) shared across
> hundreds of machines, and mirrored to dozens of other servers?

/usr/local is for site-wide software installations, not for packages
intended for the base system.  /usr/local/ is not, by any stretch of
imagination, more shareable across computers, than other directories.

I maintain some very few packages that actually install into
/usr/local because they override outdated files from, say, a Sumo
tarball or a complete teTeX or similar.  This is quite a violation of
policy, and I deem it only tolerable because the packages are so
limited in scope that if you want something else for your site, you
can just delete the complete package and not lose anything except what
you are going to replace it with.

But for something like a complete teTeX, this "minimal item which can
be deleted site-wide without problem" criterion certainly is not met.

> Networked computers today are the NORM, not the exception, even in
> an increasing number of home computing environments.  It is long
> past the time when the notion of one-user == one-machine applies,
> and software should be packaged so that it can be installed once per
> architecture for binaries, and just once per site for text files,
> and then run on all systems belonging to that architecture and
> installation.

What has that to do with /usr/local?  You can export the whole of
/usr/local/ just as bad as the whole of /{usr,etc,lib}.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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