[tex-live] ifxetex package missing from collection-xetex

Florent Rougon f.rougon at free.fr
Tue Feb 6 15:22:49 CET 2007

"Philip Taylor (Webmaster) " <P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk> wrote:

> Once you leave behind the cosy, isolated, highly-protected world of
> TeX /qua/ TeX, and move into the real world where the prefixes
> "Pdf" and "e-" proliferate, you start to experience the real
> world phenomenon of divergent evolution.  But as Darwin made
> clear over 100 years ago, this is no bad thing : "survival of
> the fittest" is just as important in computer software as it
> is in the evolution of species.

This analogy with the Darwin theory is a classic, but that doesn't make
it less flawed. While having many competing individuals from various
species doesn't "cost" anything in Life (each individual struggles for
his own survival), having many diverging variations of the same program
*is* generally a bad thing in the Free Software world. Because each of
these has to be supported by (at least) a real person who does real work
and has limited time; and the time spend by Martin Shröder on pdfTeX is
not spent on other TeX engines, for instance. The manpower is limited
(especially for TeX stuff, where doing development requires particularly
rare skills). Multiplying the forks generally reduces the manpower
available for each fork.

Besides that, it is not always "the fittest" who survives. Quite often,
it's rather "one who was both reasonably fit _and_ lucky".


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