[tex-live] Ruby interpreter for Windows in the TeXLive distribution?

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Fri Jun 30 14:46:16 CEST 2006

On 30 Jun 2006, at 1:05 pm, Frank Küster wrote:

> The
> only questions, apart from flames,

(Yes... can we move that to the os-wars at tug.org list? Thanks!)

> that were discussed seem to be
> - Is it necessary and possible to include a ruby installer archive on
>   the TeXlive media?
> - Is it possible to prepare it for live use, i.e. without local
>   installation?  How important is live usage?
> The answer to the first question is yes, with the link above.  The
> second question so far has only been asked, not answered.

I'd suggest that this subject (and other similar ones) should be  
viewed in three parts, not just two (for any given OS that texlive  

(1) is it appropriate to include an installer for [utility X on  
system Y] on the texlive media?

-- yes, space (and licenses) permitting, if it is useful for specific  
TeX-related tasks.

(2) should [utility X on system Y] work "live" from the texlive  
media, without local installation?

-- as above, where feasible, though it's not critical that every tool  
can run this way if we don't have the time and resources to get this  
done in all cases.

(3) should the texlive installation process install a "private" copy  
of [utility X on system Y], or should local installations default to  
using already-available utilities, and leave the user to install them  
separately if needed?

-- this is the hardest call, IMO.... In the case of my OS X and Linux  
machines, I don't want a texlive installer that sets up a separate  
sandboxed copy of Perl/Ruby/Python/Ghostscript/ImageMagick/whatever;  
I want the TeX world to use the current versions of these utilities  
from my system. If texlive includes packages so that I can install/ 
update to the versions it needs, so much the better, but that's not a  
high priority.

I'm less familiar with the Windows world, but my instinct is to favor  
system-wide installation of such things there as well. I realize that  
a lot of these tools are not typically preinstalled, though, so it  
would be nice if a texlive installer could inform the user of missing  
pieces and where (on the TL media) to find them, or even offer to  
automatically install them. But I have no idea how to go about that  
on Windows.


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