[tex-live] [tlpmgui] tlpmgui starts in the wrong mode under Win32

Dirk Ullrich dirk.ullrich at googlemail.com
Fri Feb 2 12:46:02 CET 2007

2007/2/1, George N. White III <gnwiii at gmail.com>:
> On 2/1/07, Dirk Ullrich <dirk.ullrich at googlemail.com> wrote:
> > Nobody expects that tlpmgui guesses what TeX I already have on my box.
> > That is the reason why I would like to have a mechanism to _manually_
> > overwrite tlpmgui's guessing.
> Some do expect exactly that.  Since the locations of texmf trees are
> tied to the location of
> the executable it is natural to use that as the basis for locating any
> existing trees.  Still, it is best to avoid surprises for people
> installing TL -- especially for those of us who hope that TL will be
> seen as a worthy successor to tetex.
> Many cases of unexpected behaviour turn out to be due to some old,
> forgotten, binary found in a user's path.  This is as much of a
> problem on linux/unix/OS X as for Windows.  Some systems do have tools
> (which, whence) that can help pin down the locations of binaries, and
> I have seen perl scripts that walk the list of directories in the path
> checking each directory.
> It would be useful to have a texconfig option to check for multiple
> version of key programs in a PATH as well as a windows port.  It would
> certainly help if people can provide the output from "texconfig
> confall" in bug reports.  Maybe tlpmgui can add configuration summary
> section similar to "texconfig confall" that will be displayed if an
> existing tex is found so the user can see what they have and decide
> whether to continue or to hide or remove existing tex installs.
I have two objections to this argument:

(1) If tlpmgui's automatic guessing the correct mode (installation vs
maintenance) is intended to help avoiding with old / incomplete TeX
installations I find the current behavior not ver y helpful: Since
tlpmgui does not provide any hint what has it caused to start
maintenance instead of installation mode I thus only know that
"something went worng" and nothing more. A more verbose message with
more details (something like "ther is alread a TEX in Path ..." or so)
would be in my opinion much more helpful.

(2) Beside point (1): In my opinion every powerful tool should be an
expert mode where the user has all available options under his
control. Of course for such a power a price has to be paid: You are in
the risk to damage soething or even everything It's just the mode "I
know what I am doing". This is one important reason why I prefer under
UNIX the archaic "install-tl.sh" for TeXLive setup. (And, by the way,
for the very same reason I would never use GNOME although I always
recommend it to UNIX / Linux newbies.)


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