[tex-live] [www-ptex 163999] Conflicting binary/format names: platex is polish and japanese

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Thu Feb 22 00:20:54 CET 2007

Staszek Wawrykiewicz <staw at gust.org.pl> wrote:

> The problem is that ptex  (and platex) never existed on CTAN, considered
> as an *absolute* reference for the TeX related stuff. (btw., why?)

ctan's considered a reference source, on the grounds that the previous
situation was such a complete shambles -- you might hear that a package
existed, but you then had to investigate where copies might exist, and
to evaluate which of those copies was current.

look at CTAN:obsolete/help/tex-styles-and-macros.txt as a snapshot of
what life was like back then.  (it was even worse for us in the uk: when
i first started using networks, we didn't have ip networking, and had to
submit quota-restricted batch jobs on an overloaded gateway machine, to
retrieve things from outside of the country.)

[nothing of which is to do with the discussion at hand, but does explain
why we in europe and the usa got to our state of regarding the ctan as
the standard source of tex material.  in the earliest days, users in the
far east were so isolated from the "simple" world of latin scripts, they
presumably never perceived our confusion and weren't impressed by its
solution.  which is my guess ... not something anyone's ever told me.]


More information about the tex-live mailing list