[tex-live] Perl for Windows

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Sun Jun 18 22:56:33 CEST 2006

gnwiii at gmail.com wrote:
> If you want reliability, use Cygwin or run linux in a virtual machine.
>  Don't forget that Win XP is now reasonably mature, while new Win32
> versions are coming into play.
hm, interestingly cygwin always gave me problems so whenever i need 
something i stick to usin gthe dll + some prog only
> It isn't realistic, particularly given the difficulties of doing
> development under Win32, to expect TeX to run reliably on a Win32
> system chosen at random.  Any tools you provide may break at any 2nd
there are (currently) three win versions 98,2000,xp in use and normally 
if one has the latest (shipped with tl) lib dll's things should run ok; 
in this respect windows is not different from linux (we now have some 10 
versions of each distribution) and macosx (not to forget os9) with 
pp/intel variants as well; i think that we must accept that operating 
systems are not stable (exept maybe systems like vms and solaris) longer 
than a (few) years(s) and i already have nightmares about installing 
windows 2021 and suse 31.2 and OSX.81 (and good dreams about texlive 2073)
> Tuesday when MS patches another dozen security flaws.  You have to
> define the interfaces you need.  If you say you only want Win32 system
> calls, you might as well run Cygwin.  If you require some relatively
> basic perl, gs, etc. then you can rely on people outside the TeX
> community to make sure there are versions that work despite whatever
> curves MS decide to throw.
i never had problems with windows tex binaries, for me linux with the 
libraries mess always gives me troubles (which is why i prefer static 

i assume that the perspective of problems is related to what one 
favourite platform is -)
> If you call gs in a script you can use command-line switches, so the
> big problem is finding the "right" gswin32c.exe, perl.exe, etc. (some
> systems have many copies)
my biggest problem with perl (on *any* platform) is that one can never 
be sure what libraries are installed; one cannot assume user swho want 
to run out of the box to locate (and install) additional stuff
> .
> I use texdoctk on Win32 with Active State Perl -- the big problem is
> that the database
> isn't complete.  I assume the tk bits are included in ASP.  I do have
> colleages who swore off Perl on Win32 a couple years ago because they
> couldn't get it to work for ConTeXt.  I get also reports from people
> who can't get ghostscript batch files to work (e.g. the epstopdf
> support in WinEDT).   Win32 is fragile and TL can't repair badly
> damaged Win32 configurations.
i think that (at least in the past) the problem was with the library 
paths; also, installing a new perl (or gs) without uninstalling the old 
thing is also a cause for problems (on linux there is a similar problems 
with gs, where one can end up with mismatches between fonts and ps lib 
files on the one hand and binaries on the other depending on where 
things are expected and what env vars are set [i sometimes solve that by 
using the latest windows stuff in combination with the generated latest  
linux bins]

anyhow, i think that nowadays os's have become monster apps and the fact 
that programs from all kind of parties needs to cooperate must  be a 
maintainers nightmare


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