[tex-live] Extended TeX : Integration with the TeX Live Package Manager ?

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Wed Aug 6 20:34:42 CEST 2008

Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh at Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org> wrote:

> Noting how slow a network install of Scheme:full is
> (I'm up to "functan", after one failure and several
> elapsed hours), I wonder whether any thought has
> been given (or is being given) to the idea of
> integrating an extended TeX with the TeX Live Package
> Manager ?  The idea I have in mind would require
> the addition of one primitive, called (say) \Requires,
> which would take as parameter the name of a TeX Live
> collection.  The extended TeX would then liaise with
> the Package Manager to see whether the required package
> wa already installed, and if not, would ask the PM to
> commence the download.  The idea can obviously be
> extended to allow not only collections, but other
> levels of granularity (such as languages) which the
> PM supports, perhaps right down to the level of
> individual files.  Is this work-in-progress, does
> anyone know ?

since the details of the behaviour of i/o isn't specified in tex, it
doesn't need an extended tex, merely a jolly good library.

what you describe is achieved by miktex.  there's a database of all
files in the set of miktex bundles, and "open file" is allowed to fork
off a network process to retrieve a known file that's not currently on
disc (in fact it retrieves the package that contains the file).  (doing
this is subject to user control -- you don't _have_ to wait while files
are retrieved: you can elect to have "file not found" errors...)

note that this scheme doesn't have to worry about dependency
relationships.  which is nice.


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