[tex-live] Perl for Windows

gnwiii at gmail.com gnwiii at gmail.com
Fri Jun 16 14:11:55 CEST 2006

On 6/15/06, Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:
> Hi,
> when I install the complete TeXLive system on Windows XP, the
> installer does not check whether there is another version of Perl
> already installed on the system.
> It would be better if the TeXLive installer could check whether a Perl
> system is already installed.  This can be done by running
> "perl --version".
> It should be sufficient to add texmf*/scripts to PERL5LIB if
> Perl is installed already.
> If Perl provided by TeXLive is updated once a year it would not be a
> problem to use it and remove the other one.  Unfortunately a Perl
> module I need insists of having Perl installed at C:/Perl instead of
> just running perl -e "print @INC" to find out where to put it.
> Quite annoying...

A few years ago, many Windows systems had MS Office and very little
else.  Now there are many applications that rely on java, perl,
ghostscript, tk/tcl, ... and there are robust packages to install
these with decent bug tracking and update schedules.  SInce these
are often installed by some application, the user may not even know
that they are using

Ghostscript has similar issues, but in this case TL doesn't have
library files that aren't included in standard gs.  The main issue is
that the default gs installer doesn't edit the PATH, so TL's installer
would need to find gswin32c.exe and update the PATH accordingly.

Is it really necessary to include perl and ghostscript in TL for
Win32? What about ruby (used by the new ConteXt scripts)?  These are
both readily available and easy to install on Windows XP. These are
useful outside of TL and it is asking for trouble to include a
version that is likely to break other tools.

I'm not that concerned about compatibility issues for the different
versions of the 3rd party tools that are installed -- this is just as
big a problem on linux, etc. so TL tools need to work with both old
and future versions of perl, gs,  ruby, etc.

Maybe the DVD version should have a directory of the recommended 3rd
party tools (emacs, perl, ghostscript, ruby, GNU utilities).  With the
most widely used packaging and configurations using the default
locations, conflicts with 3rd party apps such as the one mentioned
above are less likely, users can get required updates from places
other than TL, and TL maintainers can focus on things more directly
involving TeX (many people would like a more robust dvi viewer).

Many users find they don*t need to make .dvi files when using preview latex.
The biggest source of confusion I see with Win32 users is that they think
"run LaTeX" should be an editor menu choice.  A precompiled emacs with
auctex is now available from:

* -- Win32 has lost the apostrophe along with the cursor (arrow) keys today!
George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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