[tex-live] When is a package removed from TeX Live?

Philipp Stephani st_philipp at yahoo.de
Thu May 12 21:28:30 CEST 2011

Am 12.05.2011 um 20:12 schrieb Leo Liu:

> Hello all,
> Every time I update TeX Live using tlmgr, there are some new packages, and
> some old packages are removed as well. slashbox and showdim are removed last
> time, for example. It is necessary to select some packages from thousands of
> them to put into TeX Live, but sometimes it makes an old document
> uncompilable. Although there are more and more packages in TL, it seems there
> are still enough space to put all compressed packages into a DVD, I wonder
> when is a packages removed from the TeX Live source, and how can I rely on it.
> Thanks.

Packages are removed when there are license problems (i.e., if it is not made clear that the package is released under a free license): http://ctan.org/pkg/slashbox and http://ctan.org/pkg/showdim state that the licensing conditions are unknown. Unfortunately many of the older packages lack a license statement, in which case TeX Live has to assume a restrictive non-free license. In general the copyright holders are then asked to clarify the license statement, but sometimes they are not reachable. In that case there is no other choice than removing the package; but it should always remain on CTAN.

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