[tex-live] tl2rpm: TeX Live 2008 packages to rpm converter

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Fri Aug 22 01:01:55 CEST 2008

On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 6:37 PM, Karl Berry <karl at freefriends.org> wrote:

>    I agree that including scheme-full is essential, but I'm not sure
>    whether it should be default for the downstream packaging.
>    Initially I thought that scheme-basic will suffice. The reason for
>    it is that not everybody needs full TeX Live installation and also
>    many programs have build dependencies to TeX Live just to build
>    documentation.
> Sure, I understand.
>    So installing scheme-full to fullfil that seems a waste of resources
>    to me.
> Perhaps the ideal would be for those packages that use TeX for
> documentation to depend not just on "TeX Live" in general, but to a
> texlive-scheme-basic, texlive-scheme-medium, or whatever they actually
> need.  Not that that's easy, I know ...
> And anyway, don't they really depend only on texlive if someone wants to
> *build* the documentation -- as opposed to just read it?  Hopefully
> those other programs provide prebuilt pdf/html/whatever.  Seems like
> building the doc would be relatively rare.

There are some applications that have their own packages for "library"
modules.  The R stats package is a well known example.  Generally only
a few of the packages make it into RPM form, so many are installed from
source: "R CMD INSTALL <package_name>.tar.gz".  Documentation comes
in many formats (html, text, pdf) so it may be that few packages use TeX,
but I recently installed R on a system that did not have a working TeX and
configure in R decided I could not have .dvi and .pdf format docs.  Until
recently, R was certainly expected to install on legacy systems that
used teTeX.

>    On the other hand, user who wants a full
>    TeX Live installation could have it via "yum instal
>    texlive-scheme-full". Are you ok with it?
> Well, I'm certainly not in a position to insist on anything.  Neither
> choice stands out as obviously superior to me.
> With scheme-basic as the default, I suspect most people who actually
> want to use TeX (for anything) will be frustrated, since very little of
> what they expect will be installed, while others will happily figure out
> the yum invocation above.

Scheme-basic should provide basic functionality similar to what you
could get with teTeX.   If it doesn't actually do anything useful, it should
be expanded.  I suppose some tests are needed.

> Conversely, with scheme-full as the default, some people who just want
> to install the other programs will be frustrated at the waste of disk
> space and/or bandwidth, while others have plenty of disk and aren't
> bothered to have it all.
> It seems there is no way to please everyone.  What I can report is that
> during those many years when the distros were still based on teTeX, and
> teTeX was (essentially) not being updated, there was massive confusion
> among TeX users that packages and programs that had been available for
> years were not installed on their brand new system.  This isn't quite
> the same situation, I know, since at least the material will be up to
> date if they figure out how to install it, but it does seem reminiscient ...

I learned long ago that you can too rarely please anybody, but you can
takes steps to limit the numbers you displease.  Scheme-basic
should provide useful functionality and allow relatively simple
documents created years ago to be formatted using current TL.
As a concrete example, scheme-basic should be able to produce
.dvi, .ps, and .pdf from story.tex, while adding latex should be able to
produce .dvi, .ps and .pdf from sample2e.tex.

The issues with teTeX were serious, because it was tricky to install
add-ons, it was hard to figure out which ones you needed, and
disks were expensive.  Many people were very happy with teTeX
because it meant they could have the same basic configuration on
a variety of machines, and distribute a /usr/local/share/texmf with
the missing bits.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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