[tex-live] Pathological search path for TeXMF.cnf

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Sun Mar 15 11:59:34 CET 2015

2015-03-15 10:56 GMT+01:00 Philip Taylor <P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk>:

> As one from an entirely case-insenstive background (MS/DOS, VMS, MS
> Windows), I have just two thoughts on this :
> 1) I do not find (TeX under) Windows slow, except on a single machine on
> which it was recently installed.  All other instances (32-bit, 64-bit)
> are blindingly fast ...
> 2) Provided that the file is displayed in Explorer and analogous
> utilities as (e.g.,) "IEEEtran.cls", then (were I to use LaTeX) I would
> have no objection to having to write "\documentclass {IEEEtran}".
> It depends... Most probably the isolated Windows computer use the NTFS
file system. It evolved from the HPFS file system created jointly by IBM
and Microsoft for OS/2 (NTFS has new features that were not available in
HPFS). The file names are case insensitive but case retensive. If you
create the file as  IEEEtran.cls, you will see that name in Explorer. If
you try to open it as ieeetran.cls, it will be found. If you copy anything
over it and specify the target name as ieeetran.cls, the displayed name
will still be IEEEtran.cls because the file is not deleted and created
again, but truncated to zero length and the new contents are appended.
teTeX for eComStation (the successor of OS/2) uses case sensitive ls-R.
However, being a Linux user I have no right to vote.

There is, however, one point to consider. In some universities a netwrk
installation of TeX Live is available on a shared disk. The user mounts
(connects) the texmf trees and adds the correct binary path to the PATH
setting. The texmf tree is on some Unix machine, therefore the file names
are case sensitive. I am not sure whether Windows try to cope with case if
Unix file system is connected to it.

Zdeněk Wagner

> Perhaps at the same time we could then correct "language.def", which at
> the moment ignores the example and key definition provided by its
> original authors :
>         %%% Next section is      E X A M P L E   O N L Y
>         %%% \addlanguage {German}{ghyph31}{}{2}{2}
>         %%% Previous section is  E X A M P L E   O N L Y
>         \addlanguage {USenglish}{hyphen}{}{2}{3}
> and thereafter spells language names entirely in lower-case, thereby
> ignoring both convention and precedent :
> \addlanguage{arabic}{zerohyph.tex}{}{2}{3}
> % from hyphen-armenian:
> \addlanguage{armenian}{loadhyph-hy.tex}{}{1}{2}
> % from hyphen-basque:
> \addlanguage{basque}{loadhyph-eu.tex}{}{2}{2}
> % from hyphen-bulgarian:
> \addlanguage{bulgarian}{loadhyph-bg.tex}{}{2}{2}
> % from hyphen-catalan:
> \addlanguage{catalan}{loadhyph-ca.tex}{}{2}{2}
> % from hyphen-chinese:
> <etc>
> ** Phil.
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