[tex-live] [BUG] Upgrade-Description

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Wed Jul 2 01:31:19 CEST 2014

Sorry I was not able to reply earlier in this thread.

In short, I've made a variety of small tweaks to the text, but the basic
attitude of that page is not going to change.

More replies ...

    Why is there such a description?

Because the question was repeatedly asked (over and over :) until we
provided it.  (When we could; it's not always possible to do the

    Why should someone do it this way?

The reasons I have seen advanced are: not wanting to download a gb or so
(maybe less; the material that hasn't changed between the releases), and
not spending a few bucks on a dvd.  I'm probably forgetting something.

I can understand how you could have gotten to that page just because you
had TL13 and wanted TL14.  I've tried to make it (even) clearer that
this "upgrade" method is an ugly hack that is not intended as the
standard method for getting the new TL.

    There is no description on how to "deinstall" TL2013.

It was intentional.  Generally speaking, we don't want people to
deinstall old versions, since there can always be unanticipated future
problems with documents that no longer run.

But in this case, ok, I added a final item about tlmgr uninstall.

    As someone here pointed out: There are different ways of thinking and
    viewing something.

Certainly.  All the more reason not to expect a single short web page to
answer every question that arises as they occur ...

haines> I believe it is never inappropriate to look at directions critically,

I agree, in general.

    You have to insert yourself into the mental world of someone else,

I am well aware :).  The unresolvable issue with documentation is that
different people have different expectations (aka mental worlds) and
therefore it is impossible to write instructions that satisfy everyone.
For example, many people think The TeXbook is great, and many others
can't learn a thing from it.  Knuth never expected everyone to be happy
with it -- that's why different manuals are a good thing.  

Anyway, in the present case, believe it or not, I carefully considered
every word on that page when I wrote it and in the updates since, and
almost all the purported omissions that have been pointed out are
intentional, precisely so that the instructions make as few assumptions
as possible.

    A description of what the command does would be
    comforting to the user.

Maybe, but this page is not about explaining basic Unix constructs, or
basic TL commands.  If a person needs that level of explanation to be
"comfortable", they shouldn't be following these instructions.  Besides,
I don't want people to be comfortable doing this upgrade process; they
should feel distinctly *un*comfortable, because it's a dangerous and
not-recommended business.

    Unfortutely, /web2c/updmap.cfg is
    not in that directory but instead is in /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/.

As far as I have seen, the updmap.cfg for main TeX Live is not created
in TEXMFLOCAL by default.  I admit that nearly everything about
updmap.cfg is inherently confusing, but again, this page isn't going to
go into all that.  There are other places that do.  I do need to make
some more experiments here ...


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