[tex-live] tl09 release status: coming up

Victor Ivrii vivrii at gmail.com
Wed Oct 14 12:18:51 CEST 2009

On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 4:50 AM, Robin Fairbairns
<Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> Victor Ivrii <vivrii at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 3:15 AM, Robin Fairbairns
>> <Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>> > we would like tex to
>> > be part of every system install,
>> I am not sure that it is such a good idea. Our Department orders RHL
>> because University administration believes it provides the best
>> stability and support. But it is very conservative and comes with
>> rather well established (aka obsolete) staff, in particular with
>> tetex-3.0 (at least it was the case a couple of years ago)
> redhat has changed.  rhel (aka centos, i think) does indeed still
> install tetex, but i suspect it's due for an update, at which time it
> will be difficult for them to avoid tl (though presumably tl07).

Yes - it is enterprise edition
>> and there
>> is very little incentive to update it (actually, on the contrary,
>> there are always a couple of my esteemed colleagues who have ancient
>> files which due to some miracle work with tetex-3 distribution but may
>> break with the newer packages and then the hell breaks loose; so
>> overloaded system administrators are rather scared to update TeX
>> especially to TeXLive because of accusations: "You changed the system
>> and my files stopped working" while in fact usually it is the case
>> with these users "slightly" changing something).
> i guess things are different here; though since we started installing
> tl07 as standard, we've only had a couple of such bleats.

Yes, there are not many of such people, but two of them can make the
life of admin miserable

> tetex 3, in fact, isn't _all_ that bad (indeed, i deliberately run it at
> home, to check the compatibility of the faq releases).

Yes! I was happy with it until TL2008 on my own computers (albeit
putting updated packages in the texmf-local tree)

>> So, preinstalled TeX is a double-edged sword: it forces TeX in the
>> cases when it would not be installed otherwise but it forces obsolete
>> TeX in the cases when a newer version would be installed anyway
> i'm well aware of that, but there's little we (tex live) can do about
> it.  i guess it might be a good idea for packages to issue warnings
> saying "you're running an obsolete tex distribution, this package may
> not work", so that people (herds of them) who "find a package on the
> internet" get warned of the problems they might encounter.
> i suspect you're on the same side as me, though, saying tex live
> _shouldn't_ be avoiding "simplifying" action, for fear that people will
> get in over their heads.

Somehow I am not sure that simplifying actions always make life
simpler, sometimes they go opposite way. There is an old joke about a
dog owner who wanted his dog tail docked but he emphasized with the
poor animal and used the gradual approach chopping each month one inch

> robin

Victor Ivrii, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

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