[tex-live] Bugs in install-tl for win32

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Jun 28 13:28:48 CEST 2008

On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 7:45 PM, Dan Luecking <luecking at uark.edu> wrote:
> I have done some additional testing of install-tl for WIN32.

I have also done more testing:

1.  install-tl.bat using wine 1.01 on Fedora 8 (miktex works under wine)

This failed with messages about "unitialized value" -- probably the same
problem reported below.

2.  install-tl on native Fedora 8

I tried 3 times over 2 days using the mirrors -- each time the install died
with an error extracting a .lzma file -- the file had length zero.   I didn't
have time to check the wget settings.  There were no saved settings to
restart the install, and each time it started over from the beginning.
In the present form, the mirror mechanism is not robust enough to
handle a full install.   The installer should be able to restart from the
point of failure.  I suspect the state of CTAN mirrors in N. America
is not up to the task -- the problem will likely get much worse come
September.   I did try to monitor which mirrors where being used
and install-tl seems to rotate among the usual .ca mirrors.  I'm
in Nova Scotia where connections to Europe are often better than
to the rest of N. America.

The installer appears to download one archive file at a time, install
the files, and delete the archive.  What about keeping the archives
until the install is finished (most PC's have ample disk these days,
but there could be an option to delete archives as you go)?
If the installer is restarted, the archives that have already been
downloaded can be used (with some checks to detect partial

> [Previously I had determined that one needs to find a working
>  mirror and use the -url option to select that mirror. I had also
>  established that one needs to remove the old TeXLive2007 bin
>  directory from PATH. This was done in all the following discussion.
>  Also removed my own versions of perl, tar, wget and lzma.]

This is too much to expect -- install-tl needs to make sure it
runs the included versions.

> I successfully installed texlive-medium. Formats were automatically
> and successfully generated. The only non-routine messages were
> warnings from tar:
>  "Unrecognized file type '2', extracting as ordinary file".
> this happened for several man1 pages. This was harmless as there are
> no programs to display the man pages anyway.
> I successfully ran tex, latex and pdflatex several times. I also ran
> tplmg and successfully installed the cm-super package.
> - There was this serious bug: Registry entries are changed!!!
>  I did not appreciate the fact that the rather inadequate psv
>  program was substituted for gsview as the default for opening
>  PostScript files. This should never be done without requesting
>  permission and it should certainly not be done without informing
>  the user.
> - There is a second serious bug: Uninstalling TeXLive did not undo
>  those registry changes. I took me quite some effort to determine
>  how to change them back.

I agree that there needs to be better control over registry changes.
At a minimum, the log needs to record any changes that are made.
Perhaps it should create a script that the user can review before
making the changes.

Testing at this stage should be done with a virtual machine or wine
where you can just blow away the whole windows system and start with
a fresh/clean version.  On linux with wine it is a simple matter to
create a separate user account for tl testing -- all the registry
settings are stored on $HOME/.wine, so you can start clean
by removing the .wine tree.

> Finally, for no apparent reason, install-tl.bat has completely
> ceased to work. There is a complaint of uninitialized value at
> line 1388 of TLutils.pm, followed by much more. I will retry
> and if it continues, report more details. I should add that
> I did this immediately after installing and uninstalling texlive,
> *using the same* downloaded installation package as worked before.
> I also downloaded a new install-tl.zip and the same happened.
> I suspect something weird has happened to my system, but that
> may be paranoia.

I suspect the problem is with install-tl, but unless you can start with
a fresh windows installation it is difficult to say what state windows
might be at.

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

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