[tex-live] 8.3 file name restrictions

John R. Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Wed Sep 13 21:03:41 CEST 2006

On Wednesday 13 September 2006 11:33, Robin Fairbairns wrote:
>  things branded as "openvms" (hah!) may still
> have the capability, but using it would be as daft as using dos fat on
> win xp.
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> TeX Live mailing list
> http://tug.org/mailman/listinfo/tex-live

Last time I looked there was not a reliable way in Linux to write
to a NFS partition. Hence those of us who run both OS' on one
computer tend to format the Windows partition using the older FAT
form. I know that there are extensions that purport to allow one
to write on a NSF partition from Linux, but I don't know how
reliable they are. Hence self-mounting Linux systems like Knoppix
and Slax mount such partitions read-only by default. 

Now how does this affect TeX? Well a good way to introduce the
newcomers to Open Source Software such as TeX is to provide them a
complete system on a cdr. That eliminates temporarily at least
the barrier of doing a TeX install. After they get over the
initial fear factor then they can proceed to do a normal install.
But TeX without the ability to save files is pretty useless. 

It is possible to package up a whole fistful of useful text
processing tools on a cdr without requiring the beginner to
download this, download that, download the other. Sebastian
Rahtz did this with a variant of the Knoppix distribution. If TeX
does not replenish its user base it will eventually disappear.
Already the use of TeX in academia is reported to be shrinking. 
The self-loading demo disk that can be used for real work is a
marketing tool we must be prepared to use. None of us are
John Culleton
Able Indexing and Typesetting
Precision typesetting (tm) at reasonable cost.
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