[tex-live] TeX Live Installer -- pregeneration of formats

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Sat Jun 7 14:07:37 CEST 2008

Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:

>  > I guess that this saves you from the weirdness we had with jadetex and
>  > friends?
> Not really, format files *have* to be created either during installation
> or later.  Since many poeple asked for it, there is a new installer
> option now which allows you to change the default paper size from A4
> to letter.  Some format files have to be re-created then.

Ah, which of them?  Will "texconfig paper letter" not do the right
thing, and if not what would I have to change to make it work?

> What is the problem with jadetex?  The only difference between jadetex
> and other formats I see is that latex.fmt must exist before
> jadetex.fmt is created.
> If this really causes a lot of trouble, you could ask Sebastian to add
> the line
>     \input latex.ltx
> to [pdf]jadetex.ini.  "&latex" can then be removed from fmtutil.cnf.
> It doesn't matter then in which order format files are created. 

We've tried both approaches in Debian, and both lead to problems. I
don't remember all the details (would have to look it up in the bug
logs), but basically we we had the first problem with the &latex
approach when our maintainer scripts call "fmtutil --all" (e.g. after
changing packages with pool files): jadetex was tried before latex.fmt
was installed (it was still in the temporary directory). There's a
different problem with the \input method, I don't remember it at the

> On the other hand, for TL-2008 I'd like to avoid big changes unless
> they are unavoidable.  I regard this one as a "big" change because too
> many people are involved: [pdf]jadetex.ini has to be changed on CTAN
> while fmtutil.cnf is maintaned in TeX Live repository.

I don't think changes are necessary for TL-2008.

> When we port fmtutil to texlua, we certainly stumble across this
> issue.  We could discuss it with Sebastian, but in my opinion it's
> the wrong approach.  Since what Sebastian did is correct, I think that
> a new version of fmtutil should calculate dependencies.  

That would definitely be the cleanest approach. I don't know how we
could do that without changing the semantics of fmtutil.cnf, though.

> I don't know
> what the current version of fmtutil does but I have not enough time to
> reverse-engineer.

AFAIK it just works through fmtutil.cnf line by line. If there are two
lines for the same format, it is created twice and the second wins.

> Frank, last question:  Do you think that the problems with jadetex are
> so severe that something has to be changed in TL-2008?  Hopefully not.

No, they were already there in TL 2005, and we have a working solution
(although I admit I don't recall the details).

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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