[tex-live] install-tl-windows.bat unavailable in Microsoft Store

Arthur Reutenauer arthur.reutenauer at normalesup.org
Wed Dec 12 16:47:58 CET 2018

On Wed, Dec 12, 2018 at 02:05:57PM +0000, Philip Taylor wrote:
>    I think that discussion here have been frank and open, but not always
>    couched in a way that reflects Microsoft in the most positive light.  On
>    that basis, I would suggest that we do not refer Microsoft here

  You’re making such a good job of it!  I did not think it possible
to mention a name *twice* in a paragraph requesting not to refer to it.
I’ll be using [name intentionally left blank] in the below.

>      Draft letter; comments welcomed.

  Thank you for your draft.  It is terrible.

>      Dear <whoever> —

  (As as side note, I think it would help if you could identify an
actual person within [name intentionally left blank], or at least a
role, because it has a strong bearing on parts of the contents.)

>      I write on behalf of the TeX Users' Group, and on behalf of (literally)
>      millions of TeX users worldwide.

  Considering the tendency to overuse “literally” nowadays, I don’t
think it fits with the necessary tone for such a missive -- even if used
in a way that would be approved by purists -- and especially not in
parenthesis.  Drop it.

>                                        TeX  is a typesetting system without
>      equal, created by Professor Donald E. Knuth in 1978 in order to allow
>      him to re-typeset The Art of Computer Programming to the same standards
>      as those achieved when the first edition was published using traditional
>      hot-lead technology.

  That’s a nice introductory sentence, well done.

>                            Over the next four years Professor Knuth re-wrote
>      substantial parts of TeX and released TeX version 2, to be followed
>      about a decade later by version 3, the version almost universally used
>      today.

  Nothing in that sentence is of any interest to anyone except the
(rather specialised) historian.  Software have successive versions,
that’s a given, and we don’t need to prove that we can count up to

>              Almost since its inception, TeX has run on Microsoft platforms —
>      Eberhard Mattes wrote emTeX for MS/DOS, others developed versions for
>      Microsoft Windows, and until now there have been no significant
>      difficulties in supporting each new version of Windows as it was
>      released.

  I don’t see the point of mentioning Eberhard Mattes, whose name is the
only one you use except for Don’s.  If you’re going to be name-dropping,
I thought you could at least do it well, with for example Leslie
Lamport, who is after all a recipient of the Turing award.  Then I
remembered that didn’t like LaTeX.

  (I also think that “no significant difficulties in supporting each new
version of Windows” is a bit of a stretch, but let’s forget about that.)

>      But recently, an impasse has been reached, with the announcement of
>      Windows 10 "S-mode".

  The “impasse” has not been reached with the announcement, saying that
is the equivalent of shooting the messenger.  You need to say something
like “an impasse can be foreseen with the new S mode of Windows 10”.
But however awkward this sentence is, it’s nothing compared to

>                            As you know, far better than we, S-mode is
>      intended to lock down Windows such that no program that does not come
>      directly from the Microsoft Store can be installed and run.

  Now you’re actually insulting the recipient.  Do you realise that?
>From our point of view on this list, the S mode is indeed a gaol locking
the programmer down -- I think Norbert was the first one to use that
phrase in this thread -- but that’s of course not how [name
intentionally left blank] will choose to see it.  They will point to the
simplicity and enhanced security (S stands evidently for the latter)
that on the contrary represents freedom, to browse the Web in all peace
of mind and to use the apps you so despise.

  Then it’s all downhill from here:

>                                                                   Having
>      consulted the technical guidelines describing the constraints placed
>      on a program which is to run in S-mode

  “Consulted” is too pompous for the (very) cursory reading of a rather
short Web page.  In looking for a verb to replace it with, I found that
we could entirely do away with one: “From the technical guidelines,

>                                              TeX's development/implementation

  What’s the point of the two nouns here?  Choose one, they’re
equivalent in this context.  I would recommend the former which is much
more common nowadays, and I suspect you don’t like it either, which is
probably why you want to put the second one as well.

>      team are very concerned that because (for example) TeX makes widespread
>      use of CMD.exe, that in itself is sufficient reason for TeX to be
>      disbarred.

  It *is* a sufficient reason for any program to be excluded from [name
intentionally left blank]’s app store, it’s very clear from the page
that you’ve read, er, “consulted”.  There’s no use being coy about it.
And the fundamental problem is much wider than that: the whole
implementation of S mode will make it well-nigh impossible to make a TeX
distribution for it without considerable efforts.  Which leads us to

>      We would therefore be very grateful if you could nominate someone within
>      Microsoft with whom we could liaise directly, with a view to
>      ascertaining how these obstacles to the inclusion of TeX (and its
>      adjunct programs) in the Microsoft Store portfolio might best be
>      overcome.

  Here comes the crux, of course.  You ask head-on [name intentionally
left blank] to provide us with a special advisor.  For free?  That seems
impossible.  As Zdenĕk mentioned, we can expect to pay millions of
dollars for that kind of service.  Why would a commercial company give
up on that?  For a few million users of one particular program?

  If you want to write a convincing letter, you need to explain what
outcome you expect from it, and why it’s realistic.


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