[tex-live] A few glitches in tlnet/tldev

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Jun 14 18:51:09 CEST 2008

On Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 9:20 PM, Reinhard Kotucha
<reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:

> George N. White III writes:
>  > I did a test install on a OS X Leopard 10.5.3.
>  >
>  > OS X doesn't appear to provide wget -- I used macports.  It is
>  > possible some other tools used by the scripts also came from macports.
> Hi George,
> I'm not familiar with the OS X at all.  As far as I understand,
> macports and fink are extensions to OS X which make free software
> available.  If this is true, we can't rely on them.

Correct.  But users will get a 2nd chance with MacTeX.  My guess is that
the vast majority of users who will be installing TL2008 will either already
have wget (I have it from macports but also in a large 3rd party system)
or won't mind compiling it themselves.

> It's quite late for big changes in TeX Live, but if there is a native
> command-line tool provided by OS X which does the same as wget and you
> are willing to do some tests, maybe the installer and getnonfreefonts
> could use it.  If not, (or if it can't be done easily) I prefer the
> following solution:

My time is quite limited, but I will fit in as much testing as I can.  My big
concern is that there may be other tools from macports that were used.
Ideally, installers should run under a stripped down PATH so you only
use the vendor's versions of the tools.

> If someone provides a wget binary for OS X, we can do this:
>  * The wget binary will be put into the directory on the server which
>    contains the network installer.
>  * The files README.OSX.html and index.html will be provided.
>  * The getnonfreefonts man page will contain a link to README.OSX.html,
>    you can't use getnonfreefonts without internet access anyway.

I think you will have to say something along the lines:

"The installer requires that you have a working wget on your system.
If wget is not already installed on your system, you can  use one of
the 3rd party toolkits such as macports or fink., or you can build wget
from the GNU sources at:


Note that you will need the Apple Xcode developer tools to compile
wget.   In the future we hope to add support for the curl utility."

In the long run:

OS X, being of the BSD inclination, provides curl, so it would be
best if the scripts can use either wget or curl.   I've seen times when
curl worked "better" than wget, and curl shows up in places where
wget is not found (see: <http://daniel.haxx.se/docs/curl-vs-wget.html>
Updated: May 19, 2008 ).  Also of interest:

<http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn/tn2029.html> "This Technical
Note was created for application developers interested in writing software
that is compatible with Mac OS X. "

Apple still has instructions and sources for building wget: (from an early
version of OS X) at <http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/10.0/>

>  > Each time I have to go thru the configuration menus (or figure out
>  > how to put the selections on the command line).  Either I forgot to
>  > set the papersize on the last iteration or the setting was not
>  > honored, as I'm getting A4 pdfs when I asked for letterpaper.
> If you don't remember whether you enabled letter paper in the
> installer menu, just try
>  grep letter /usr/local/texlive/2008/tlpkg/texlive.profile

Thanks.  I'm afraid I haven't had time to investigate tlpkg.

> BTW, you told us some time ago that you have to install TeX Live on
> many machines.  We decided to make your life easier.  After you
> installed TeX Live on one machine you can copy texlive.profile to your
> USB stick and can install TL in batch mode on other machines:
>   install-tl -profile /media/usb/texlive.profile

Nice.  Thank you (actually, I what I generally do is one install with all
platforms selected, add local tweaks, rsync the whole tree to the
other systems, and delete extraneous bin/<arch> directories if
space is tight).   We tend to have a development workstation with
a full set of tools, and production machines with the bare minimum

>  > Running "texconfig paper letter" and rebuilding formats fixed this for
>  > pdftex, but not xetex:
> The program which changes paper sizes is derived from Thomas'
> texconfig.  It changes entries in config files.  I don't see any
> config file for xetex in the texmf tree.  If anybody tells me what is
> needed for xetex, I'll add support.

I was assuming this would be sorted by now, but perhaps not.  The
advantage of getting older and forgetful and doing installs when I'm
too tired for things that require a sharp mind is that I see things
more like a first time user.

What is needed for xetex?  Documentation would be the first priority.

MiKTeX has:

xetex.1, XeTeX-reference.pdf and tug2003.pdf

TL svn seems to have only

There is:

\special{pdf:pagesize width 8in height 11in}

which can be set (from xetex.1 in miktex) using:

xetex --papersize=string ...

I assume this just adds a pdf:pagesize special for xdvipdfmx, but
none of this is suitable for a system-wide configuration.

[ I have miktex installed via wine on linux so I can make sure
things I do in linux will also work for the miktex users, but I'm finding
that the miktex documentation is often better organized and more

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

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