[tex-live] TL 13 -- how many maintained installations are there?

AW alexander.willand at t-online.de
Tue Apr 15 23:11:29 CEST 2014

Am Dienstag, 15. April 2014, 18:07:30 schrieb Karl Berry:
> My basic question is, supposing that a number was collected somehow,
> what could one do with it?  Given that we know in advance that the
> number will not in any way reflect the actual number of users or usage.
> I mean, say we get a number of 1,234 in, say, three months.  Then after
> another three months, we get 2,345.  What does this tell you?  Exactly
> nothing, as far as I can see.  It says nothing about the number of
> people using TeX Live (much less TeX), or the number of people who
> installed TeX Live, or anything else.  So what's the point?
> Anyway, I think TL is the wrong place to collect such information, even
> if there were a reason to collect it.  Years ago, Peter Flynn (and I)
> put some work into creating a web form where TeX users could submit
> however much or little information they wished.  We never brought it to
> fruition, because there seemed no point in collecting information which
> had no apparent use.
> karl

If there were a package submitted to each tex-live installation only once and 
during the first update (this package would not be updated itself, of course), 
we could count on how many computers somebody updates a tex-live installation, 
which is a strong hint that this installation is being used. 

If there were a way to do this little research, I'd had written a similiar 
email to C. Schenk / MiKTeX.

To what end? Numbers sometimes matter by themselves. I realise that there are 
less and less articles about LaTeX in the press. My impression is that people 
have something in mind like "I hope I die before I _have_ to use Word". 
Finally LaTeX and TeX (a software more than 30 years old, how outdated!) will 
vanish, isn't this the meaning of such words. 

Quite the contrary, I guess, is true: There will be more users of LaTeX, for 
different reasons. One argument is, that more and more people gather the 
necessary knowledge of computers to run it.

I'm looking for some hard facts that the group of LaTeX users is not 
shrinking, or even growing, to convince people to write about it or to fill a 
vacany with somebody who can teach (La)TeX to students. 

Markus Kohm just published the 5th edition of his book about KOMA-script. 
tex.stackexchange.com can be called a succes, by all standards. So I started 
looking for some numbers bigger than sceptic journalists or pesimistic 
controllers presume. 

Any arguments or suggestions welcome. But you are probably completely right: 
there does not seem to be an easy way to research the number of TL users. 


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