[tex-live] Feature request: "package dependency" field on CTAN

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Tue Nov 15 01:15:44 CET 2016

On 2016-11-14 at 00:50:48 +0900, Hironobu Yamashita wrote:

 > I've also read the previous discussion on tex-live list.
 > That would be very useful, but will require a lot of work.
 > I thought it would be better if the upstream, CTAN, takes some new
 > action. It may benefit all the distributions, including official
 > TeX Live, MiKTeX and platform-specific ones. Of course this request
 > would demand a lot of work to be done by CTAN team and others, so I
 > don't insist on the change. It's a mere suggestion, so any better
 > ideas are welcome.

Dear Hironobu,
as you already recognized, if it can't be done automatically (by
parsing the code) it's an enourmous amount of work.  I would have
second your suggestion one or two decades ago.  But disk space is very
cheap today.  In a few years internet access will also be much faster
and nobody will care about a few Gigabytes of disk space.  Thus I fear
that all the effort is in vain because very few people will make use
of the suggested features in the near future and honor your efforts.

It's already recommended to use scheme-full and the situations where a
customized installation is *really* necessary are quite rare. 

One could claim that TeX Live is modular and thus should maintain all
of it's dependencies properly.  Well, the decision to make TeX Live
modular was made two decades ago when disk space was very expensive.

I'm sure that most people simply install scheme-full as recommended
and am sure that all the effort regarding package dependencies will
not be honored at all in the near future.

Hironobu, I agree with you that dependency management is't perfect but
I'm also convinced that everything which requires manual operations is
unfeasible.  Changing the CTAN upload form doesn't help because many
packages will never be updated at all.


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de

More information about the tex-live mailing list