[tex-live] TEXINPUTS on windows

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Sun Nov 7 00:41:38 CET 2010

Andreas Hirsch <nishni_nowgorod at gaponline.de> wrote:

> quoting Ulrike Fischer, [06.11.2010 21:53 +0100]:
> > Am Sat, 06 Nov 2010 21:28:04 +0100 schrieb Andreas Hirsch:
> > Well no. Adding a complete texmf-tree is what the miktex interface
> > does and Lars was asking how this could be done. I did it by adding
> > the root to the variable TEXMFLOCAL
> maybe we talk about different things:
> >> Could we move back to the main problem? What sort of problem 'simply
> >> users' are confronted with which could not be solved putting files in
> >> localtexmf?
> again: we talk about unexperienced TeX users? What they have to add?
> Your example seems very special to me:
> > As an example: On http://xetex.tk/ there is a microtype.tds.zip with
> > a beta version of microtype. In miktex I simply unpackage the zip,
> > add the root folder as a new root
> > (http://docs.miktex.org/2.8/manual/localadditions.html#id574074) and
> > use it. When I no longer need it I remove the root. 
> > 
> > In similar way I (and other miktex users) have used
> > beta/cvs-versions of biblatex, pgf (big package), beamer (also big
> > package), koma-script and others.
> > 
> > You don't have to copy a lot of files if you want to add a package,
> > and you don't have to delete a lot of files if you want to remove
> > it. 
> wheres's the problem to use localtexmf?

the problem with using localtexmf is the tds.  we occasionally hear a
distressed person who's put foobar.sty in localtexmf, and latex doesn't
see it -- they've put it in localtexmf rather than
localtexmf/tex/latex/foobar ... and this is a common problem.

ulrike points out that the problem is solved by .tds.zip files, but
they're not particularly common.  (on ctan, 155 latex macro packages
exist as .tds.zip, of 1226 -- at the level of a crude scan.)

sure, it's great if a developer provides a .tds.zip of a beta version,
making life for miktex users really neat.  but it doesn't actually help
the tex live user, much: they've still to uninstall by surgery on a


who gets to put right the broken .tds.zip files that get uploaded to

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