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

Lars Madsen daleif at math.au.dk
Sun Mar 15 12:21:24 CET 2015

There is also the case where the latex installation is on local dusk, but the user files are mounted via a file server.

Many of our windows lysine employees, see a performance issues because of the networking on there mounted folders. But not as severe af Philip is describing.

Just wanted to mention it.

If our users move their sources onto a local folder, then latex is fast again


-----Original Message-----
From: Zdenek Wagner [zdenek.wagner at gmail.com]
Received: søndag, 15 mar. 2015, 12:03
To: Philip Taylor [P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk]
CC: Norbert Preining [preining at logic.at]; TeX Live [tex-live at tug.org]
Subject: Re: [tex-live] Pathological search path for TeXMF.cnf

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

% from hyphen-armenian:
% from hyphen-basque:
% from hyphen-bulgarian:
% from hyphen-catalan:
% from hyphen-chinese:

** Phil.

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