[tex-live] Bug with info generated by TeXlive 2008 installer

Norbert Preining preining at logic.at
Thu Feb 19 18:16:27 CET 2009

On Do, 19 Feb 2009, Norbert Preining wrote:
> > https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=477725
> I tried to log in there, but it didn't work.

I just now posted the following text:
As the upstream author of tlmgr and the whole infra structure (and the
Debian maintainer for TeX Live packages) some short comments here:
- SUSE is right to disable tlmgr. It could have done better by only
deactivating some of its functionality, but that is hard a task. Furthermore,
probably all but a very small set of functions can actually be used on a
distribution system. On Debian we will face the same problem

- TeX Live cannot use rpm a priori. It was written to work portably on a huge
amount of operating systems and architectures (from Windows, Solaris, AIX to
Linux). The main use of tlmgr is to make updates of TeX Live over the network
possible. That needed a specific structure, and rpm was for sure not the one
since it is not available on all systems.

- Mixing tlmgr operations with rpm operations is also impossible, due to the
file database kept by rpm etc.

So I see (and it will be the same on all distributions) only a few
possibilities to give users the same experience with distribution-TeX Live as
with normal TeX Live:
- distributions create one package (rpm, deb, whatever) per TLP (TeX Live
Package), or at least following the collections of TeX Live (as it is done on
Debian side: one collections on TeX Live maps to one binary package on Debian),
and the distributions rebuild their archives on a regular base. This way users
will get the same updates

- distributions invent some sand-box for TeX Live where tlmgr can work and
update, but the rest is kept be done with rpm. That seems to be quite difficult
because we (tlmgr) needs to modify/edit/update the central definition files
updmap.cfg, fmtutil.cnf, and language.dat(.def).

My recommendatation for users are now:
- if you are NOT in need of the daily shiniest new updates, and that is in 99%
of the users the fact, use the distribution packages of TeX Live.  Distributors
invest lot of time to make TeX Live integrate well with the rest of the 

- Only AND ONLY ONLY ONLY if you need the newest stuff *immediately* and cannot
install it to your TEXFMHOME of TEXMFLOCAL, then simply install normal TeX

For the distributors: Please contact us at tldistro at tug.org, we are open to all
discussions and suggestions, but keep in mind the audience we are working for
and the audience you are working for. We are not mono-system-orientated.

All the best


Best wishes


Dr. Norbert Preining <preining at logic.at>        Vienna University of Technology
Debian Developer <preining at debian.org>                         Debian TeX Group
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