[tex-live] Outstanding question about Hebrew and Greek hyphenation patterns

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Sep 21 09:46:32 CEST 2013

On 2013-09-20 at 10:31:27 +0100, Philip Taylor wrote:

 > Robin Fairbairns wrote:
 > >> No, but that request is rare. The advise is to install
 > >> everything as storage space is cheap and networks are mostly
 > >> fast enough.
 > > 
 > > one or other is plainly not the case for phil.  (either that, or
 > > he has a snail's-pace computer, which hardly seems likely.)
 > > 
 > > fast net connections are uncommon (or ruinously expensive) in
 > > rural england (where phil lives), so that's probably the problem.
 > > for only slightly less than i pay for 30mbit/s, my mother gets a
 > > basic isdn service ... but of course, she doesn't care.
 > 2.6Mbps on a good day.  3.0Mbps on an exceptional one.  I genuinely
 > had not realised this question would prove so difficult to answer.

I have a 6 Mbit/s connection but installing from a local mirror is
significantly faster.  Whenever it's necessary to install TL more than
once a local mirror saves a lot of time.  Please note that
installation speed is not proportional the network speed because the
packages have to be de-compressed too.

Mirroring can done by wget or rsync.  The latter is more efficient.
I'm mirroring to Apache's htdocs directory.  The advantage is that I
can install from there on other computers too.  It's also possible to
mirror to an arbitrary directory.  The TeX Live installer then thinks
that the stuff is on a CD/DVD.

I strongly recommend to set up a local mirror.  It doesn't matter how
fast your internet connection is since files are mirrored while you
are sleeping if the system is set up properly.  After all, with a
local mirror the download speed doesn't matter at all and installing
TeX Live (scheme-full) takes much less than an hour.

A few years ago I changed the ISP and took this opportunity to upgrade
from 2 Mbit/s to 6 Mbit/s.  They offered me an even faster connection
for more money but it turned out that in real life the improvement 
(2 vs. 6 Mbit/s) isn't noticable.  According to the system monitor the
Aljazeera live stream only uses abt. 10% of the avaiable bandwidth.
Network speed matters if you download huge files or zillions of
smaller files.  This is the case when you install TeX Live from CTAN
or a remote mirror.  With a local TeX Live mirror network speed
doesn't matter at all.  I strongly recommend to install a mirror.

If you don't want to install everything, select "scheme full" and then
disable the collections you don't need.  I'm sure that you can avoid
most of the LaTeX, ConTeXt, and language specific packages this way.
Your settings are stored in tlpkg/texlive.profile.  You can copy this
file to other machines if desired.

 > I thought (in my naïvety) that there would be a standard and well-
 > known combination of Collections/packages/schemes to accomplish
 > what seemed to me to be a very simple and straightforward aim.

The problem is that different people have different requirements.  At
a first glance it sounds reasonable to have an installation scheme
"Plain TeX" but those who are using XeTeX or LuaTeX probably prefer to
rely solely on system fonts while others need all the fonts provided
by TeX Live.  Hence it's not possible to create a scheme for Plain TeX
users which satisfies the needs or expectations of all of them.

As far as packages are concerned, I strongly recommend to install
collections even if they contain many packages you don't need.
Installing single packages is a pain.  If TeX can't find a particular
file you can ask tlmgr to which package it belongs and install this
package.  But if this happens thrice you'll recognize that it was a
mistake not to install the whole collection.  So be careful when
de-selecting collections in the installer menu.


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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