[tex-live] texlive setup problems

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sun Jan 29 03:56:20 CET 2017

On 2017-01-29 at 00:20:03 GMT, Karl Berry wrote:

 > I've installed the following change to the error message wording so
 > it no longer refers to pool files. (With thanks to Akira, as
 > always.)

 > -  wterm_ln('---! ', stringcast(name_of_file+1), ' doesn''t match ', pool_name);
 > +  wterm_ln('---! ', stringcast(name_of_file+1),
 > +           ' made by different executable version');

Dear Karl,
admittedly, it's a great step forward if links to non-existing files
are removed from error messages.  But it is quite unfortunate that
Knuth's famous error messages are now replaced with something
completely different.  I prefer minimally invasive surgery instead.

What do you think about this approach?


    /path/to/<format file> doesn't match <nonexistent pool file>


    /path/to/<format file> doesn't match /path/to/<tex executable>

This is only a slight modification of Knuth's original error message,
which takes into account that the string pool is now compiled into the
binary.  It also contains useful information about the files being
involved (their location).

The most drastic change is that Knuth only mentions the name of the
pool file (without any information about its location) while I suggest
to mention the full path to the executable.  But file systems are OS
dependent and Knuth explicitly allowed to adapt OS specific code.  IMO
we shall take this opportunity in order to provide a good error
message.  Nowadays we have to consider that there are many TeX
distributions which sometimes interfere, a situation which was
unforeseeable four decades ago, when Knuth wrote his amazing program.

 > The pool file is compiled into the tex binary as well as all other. I
 > think I should change the *POOL definitions in texmf.cnf to /nonesuch to
 > make it clear they are not intended to be used. If anyone has a reason
 > to the contrary, let me know ... -k

Do we need the *POOL definitions in texmf.cnf at all if there are no
pool files anymore?  Ancient versions of TeX Live use ancient versions
of texmf.cnf.

Dear Akira,
thank you very much for the explanation.  Though I knew what Taco did
I couldn't explain the error message.  But now it's clear why even
recent executables still complain about missing pool files.


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

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