[tex-live] Tool update outside tlmgr

Paulo Roberto Massa Cereda cereda.paulo at gmail.com
Sat Dec 5 11:13:35 CET 2015

Dear friends,

As most of you know, I am the main developer of arara. We are working on 
the new version (4.0) and I really hope to release it soon, maybe in the 
beginning of next year.

The core team is discussing the possibility of including a rule update 
feature for version 5.0, say, with a --update-rules flag. The idea is 
quite straightforward: arara would connect to the project repository and 
git pull changes. We are also thinking of the possibility of allowing 
third party rule repositories (this last idea sounds interesting, but it 
could open some serious security breach if the sources aren't trusted).

First approach: update the tool's default rules set, which is located at 
the same directory level of the main binary. If we consider the version 
shipped with TL, it would be here:


In this particular scenario, one should invoke

$ sudo arara --update-rules


$ su -c 'arara --update-rules'

in order to have the proper access privileges.

There is also a standalone installer, so one can set up his/her 
favourite directory scheme for arara (this is useful for, say, MiKTeX 
users). The very same idea would apply.

But I am aware this may not please the tlmgr infrastructure, as 
untracked files are being deployed in a controlled area.

Second approach: arara is able to read rules outside the default 
directory, so updates could go into the user space instead, as the tool 
can handle search paths quite easily. This would keep the TL 
infrastructure pristine and would not require privileged access to 
update one's rules set.

How does this plan sound to you? :)

All the best!


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