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

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Wed May 18 19:43:42 CEST 2005

Norbert Preining <preining at logic.at> wrote:

> Hi friends!
> I want to start a discussion on the usefulness of creating a basic
> tex-base package. Reason: I want to build the debian packages for
> texlive using the utilities from tetex. Frank once already suggested
> such a package, so here is a short proposal. I would like to hear some
> comments before I try out the whole stuff ;-)

So let's say, just for the purpose of the tex-Live and Debian TeX policy
discussion, it is "end of May" (see
http://lists.debian.org/debian-tetex-maint/2005/04/msg00031.html), and
I'll add my comments.

> Proposal for a tex-base package
> ===============================

I'd suggest to rather call it "tex-common".  First of all, this is the
name usually used in Debian for such things, like emacsen-common etc.
Furthermore, I don't think that tetex-base was a particular good name,
especially given that it does _not_ contain all files for a working
LaTeX base system.  We shouldn't remind people too much of that...

> This package should include the basic infrastructure for managing TeX
> systems on debian installations.
> ATM I would suggest:
>         /usr/sbin/update-{fmtutil,texmf,updmap}


>         /etc/texmf/updmap.d/00updmap.cfg

That would be just an empty file with comments, wouldn't it?  So I'd
vote for /etc/texmf/updmap.d/README

>         /etc/texmf/texmf.d/*
> texmf.cnf file snippets: I assume that all the config files will finally
> be more or less equal, if the pathes are not too different. I would again
> suggest a minimal texmf.d/00tex-base.cfg file which includes some comments,
> and the other packages install new snippets.

I think the basic definitions that are also in our to-be Debian TeX
Policy (e.g. which trees are found) should be defined there.  I guess we
can (and should) also agree on common values for the TeX memory sizes
(pool_size etc.), because the values we need here will be mostly defined
by the less common, more exotic applications that are not included in
the basic packages (of texlive or tetex), but come as separate (tetex)
or add-on (texlive) packages, and they should be the same irrespective
of which package provides the TeX (or pdfTeX) engine.

>         /etc/texmf/fmt.d/00tetex.cnf

Again a README would be sufficient, right?

> (anything else?)

Some documentation.

> The following changes would be necessary:
> -----------------------------------------
> * All references to tetex should go to tex-base, ie
>         update-updmap
>                 FONTMAP_MEMORY_DIR=/var/lib/tex-base/debian/fontmap-cfg
>         update-texmf
>                 MD5SUMS=/usr/share/tex-base/texmf.cnf.md5sum.d
>                 (Necessary, do we have upgrades ;-)
>         update-fmtutil
>                 /etc/texmf/fmt.d/00tetex.cnf rename

Agreed.  I haven't checked whether anything else is necessary.

Regards, Frank

P.S. Something else just occured to me: When creating the packages that
texlive will be split into, you should take into account that there are
not only many things that are missing in teTeX, but also a bunch of
things that exist as separate packages in Debian.  You should talk to
the maintainers of those packages, but in many cases it would probably
be better not to create tex-live-specific packages, but just leave
updates, integration, and maintainance to the individual packages'
maintainers.  In some other cases, maintainers might be glad to put the
burden over to the tex-live maintainers - before taking it, you'd better
check the amount of integration word needed.

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

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