[tex-live] Proposal for collection reorganization

David Kastrup dak at gnu.org
Thu Jun 8 23:34:40 CEST 2006

karl at freefriends.org (Karl Berry) writes:

>     that it matters now since we only have pdfetex and xetex)
> Plain TeX (aka "tex"), as currently configured in TL, still uses the
> more-or-less original TeX code, without etex or pdfetex changes.
> Maybe it's time to change that.  I wonder what Knuth would think.

I doubt he would be enthused, since it takes away his convenient
access to TeX executables of his own, making it harder for him to
judge the veracity of TeX bug reports (which he'll look at in 2006 and
2011 or so).  It also makes it harder for other developers to get a
quick idea about whether a bug is just in PDFeTeX or indeed TeX

Now technically speaking, the trademark and whatever restriction is on
the "TeX" name and banner.  The "tex" executable name should not be

What one could do is to have "tex" default to PDFeTeX and provide a
separate "plaintex" command in an optional collection that is kosher
Knuth.  And perhaps can even be configured to be the default "tex"
with the right symbolic links.

Anyway, history repeats itself the other way round.  The hoi polloi
who claim to use Linux rather than GNU will be the same that will
claim that they are typesetting their documents with TeX, when indeed
their typesetter will not be allowed to be called TeX by decree of

There probably is a fine joke in that, but I doubt I'd want to hear

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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