[tex-live] Installing TeX Live 2008 from the net : a review of steps taken and problems encoountered.

Philip TAYLOR Philip-and-LeKhanh at Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org
Thu Aug 7 23:49:21 CEST 2008

Installing TeX Live 2008 from the net :
a review of the steps taken and of any
problems encoountered.

1) Visit Tug.Org, follow link to "TeX Live"

2) thence to "Downloads and other means of obtaining TeX Live"

3) thence to "small bootstrap installer available on CTAN"

4) thence to "install-tl.zip "

5) Receive ZIP file, unzip using WinZip

6) Note that paths within ZIP start at "install-tl",
    so unzip into O:\TeX\Live\2008

7) WinZip opens O:\TeX\Live\2008, I get /slightly/
    confused by directory called "readme.html", but
    eventually realise that correct starting point
    is file "index.html"

8) Open "index.html", all links functional

9) Follow link to "README, English"

10) First two links are OK, next four are broken :
	texmf-doc/doc/english/ hierarchy, in both html and pdf formats.
	Translations to other languages are also available under texmf-doc/doc/*.

"texmf-doc/doc/english/" -> (file:///O:/TeX/Live/2008/install-tl/texmf-doc/doc/english)
"html" -> (file:///O:/TeX/Live/2008/install-tl/texmf-doc/doc/english/texlive-en/texlive-en.html)
"pdf" -> (file:///O:/TeX/Live/2008/install-tl/texmf-doc/doc/english/texlive-en/texlive-en.pdf)
"texmf-doc/doc/*" -> (file:///O:/TeX/Live/2008/install-tl/texmf-doc/doc/)

11) Next four links are OK, but it is more
than a little disingenuous to speak of "gv",
"xpdf" and "Sumatra PDF" as being "free
alternatives to Acrobat" when the Adobe Acrobat
reader is also free (as in "a free lunch", which is
how the word "free" is used in the real world).  If
they are open-source alternatives, then why
not say so. And please link to the Acrobat Reader
download on the Adobe site; this is what most of
the world uses to read PDF.

12) The next four links are broken :

     * TeX Live documentation (html).
     * Links to all included PDF and HTML documentation.
     * The English TeX FAQ (pdf also available).

"TeX Live documentation" -> (file:///O:/TeX/Live/2008/install-tl/texmf-doc/doc/english/texlive-en/texlive-en.html)
"Links to all included PDF and HTML documentation" -> (file:///O:/TeX/Live/2008/install-tl/doc.html)
"TeX FAQ" -> (file:///O:/TeX/Live/2008/install-tl/texmf-doc/doc/english/FAQ-en/html/)
"pdf" -> (file:///O:/TeX/Live/2008/install-tl/texmf-doc/doc/english/FAQ-en/newfaq.pdf)

13) I suggest changing the wording concerning the "install-tl" script
     as follows :

	"The installation script is now named install-tl,
          and has both GUI (default on Windows) and text
         (default on everything else) operation modes.
          You can force one or the other with the options
         -gui and -no-gui, respectively."


	"The installation script is now named install-tl
	 for Unix-based system and install-tl.bat for
	 Windows.  The script has both GUI (default on Windows)
	 and text (default on everything else) modes of operation.
          You can force one or the other with the options
         -gui and -no-gui, respectively."

14) To avoid the "disappearing CMD window" phenomenon,
     I think we should either adopt the %ComSpec" /K approach,
     or else make it plain that the "install-tl.bat" file
     must be launched from within a CMD window.

15) I have now launched "install-tl.bat" (using
     the %ComSpec% /K approach) and told it not
     to use the same settings as before.  I notice
     that the GUI window is not automatically
     given focus : this could easily confuse a
     naive user.

16) Using the GUI interface, the lack of a browse
     feature is very noticeable on attempting to
     modify TEXDIR.

17) The prompt reads "Enter path for TEXDIR
	(Use ~ for HOME/USERPROFILE).  As
     mentioned in an earlier message, the use
     of the path separator in this message is
     /very/ confusing : I'll try to offer
     a clearer wording when I have finished this
     initial report.

18) Using click-at-end, drag to beginning, overtype
    (a fairly standard way in Windows of replacing
     an existing entry with typed input), the first
     attempt succeeded but the second resulted in
     the overtype being itself highlit and therefore
     deleted on the next character.  Attempting to
     use the cancel key had no perceivable effect,
     but after further interaction with the dialogue
     box the CMD window reported

> Tk::Error: Can't locate object method "cancel" via package "Tk::After::Cancelled
> " at O:\TeX\Live\2008\install-tl\tlpkg\installer\perllib/Tk/Widget.pm line 492,
> <RETFH> line 113918.
>  <ButtonRelease-1>
>  (command bound to event)

    It is consistent that when the text is highlit,
    <cancel> has no effect.

    The highlit overtype appears to occur when the
    drag is fast and extensive; if it is slow and
    measured, the problem does not seem to occur.

    In the absence of browse functionality, it might
    be worth suggesting that the user first browse to
    his/her preferred installation root using Explorer,
    then copy the location so that it can be pasted into
    the dialogue box.

19) Having finally coerced TEXDIR to read "O:\TeX\Live\2008",
     all following buttons shew the paths with mixed delimiters
    (e.g., TEXMFLOCAL = "O:\TeX\Live\2008/texmf-local".  If
     I then change TEXDIR to read "O:/TeX/Live/2008", a very
     significant change occurs : TEXMFLOCAL now reads
    "O:/TeX/Live/2008/texmf-local" (note that the 2008
     has disappeared) : this would seem to suggest that
     the input dialogue box parser is not recognising "\"
     as being equivalent to "/".

20) TEXMFHOME reads "~/texmf"; as discussed above, this
     won't be meaningful to a Windows user, and the
     explanatory text uses the Unix path delimiter "/"
     to indicate alternation.  As above, I will try
     to suggest a clearer, more platform-neutral,

Enough for tonight : I now have to collect
Khanh from the station ...

** Phil.

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