[tex-live] Tool update outside tlmgr

Norbert Preining preining at logic.at
Sat Dec 5 16:12:30 CET 2015

Hi Paolo,

thanks for contacting us in advance, always a good idea!

> The core team is discussing the possibility of including a rule
> update feature for version 5.0, say, with a --update-rules flag. The

Of course you are free to implement such a feature, but I ask you 
- in the similar vein as Reinhard - to consider simply uploading
new minor versions to CTAN (say 5.0.1, 5.0.2 etc).

Do you expect that rules change on a daily basis? My guess is that
rules will change rather rarely, probably less than the usual
user will use updates via tlmgr or the MikTeX equivalent.

ANyway, now for the technical questions you asked:

> /usr/local/texlive/<year>/texmf-dist/scripts/arara/rules

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

Not really a problem. tlmgr does not keep md5 sums of the files.
If there is an update to arara in TeX Live, and one of the files/rules
got *missing* during an --update-rules operation, tlmgr will mention
this with a warning, but happily continues.

> 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.

But then you might come into vesion squeeze hell: Consider this 
series of actions:

- user installs arara with rules v.1
- user updates arara rules with --update-rules to v.2
- texlive provides and update
- user installs arara and receives rules v.3

How would arara handle that? WOuld it chekc version numbes in one way
or another?

This is the problem we faced/facing in TeX Live with generated font map
information (running updmap), and it is a *great* pain.

> How does this plan sound to you? :)

IMNSHO I believe the best would be to go via CTAN updates. If you want
to keep rules and program versions separate, you could even upload
a package called 'arara-rules' to CTAN, separate from arara, and then
only update arara-rules (version could be time stamps eg) on CTAN.

With a delay of about 1-2 days the rules will arrive at the user

If you want to have --update-rules in parallel, then it might be 
better to update in place, instead of system-user splitting, die
to version squeeze hell, as explained above.

Hope that helps


PREINING, Norbert                               http://www.preining.info
JAIST, Japan                                 TeX Live & Debian Developer
GPG: 0x860CDC13   fp: F7D8 A928 26E3 16A1 9FA0  ACF0 6CAC A448 860C DC13

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