Is there any xindy development still?

Joachim Schrod jschrod at
Tue May 26 01:46:09 CEST 2020

Karl Berry writes:
> Hi J\"urgen,

[For the rest of the readers: Jürgen sent me some 11 emails with
well-worded questions and development proposals last December, which I
didn't react on.]

Jürgen, I'm sorry that I didn't answer your emails at the start of
this year. I have no good excuse, I should have sent at least a short
reply. Well, it was a difficult time for me, since I reorganized my
company at this time, which left me no time for private activities. I
wanted to answer later, but then the Corona Pandemie arrived, and
suddenly we had more work than we ever expected. (It's a sad state. 
Friends of me, working in gastronomy or as artists, are going broke --
whereas Christine and I are swamped with requests to setup process to
support home office work. My mother is dying of cancer, and I need all
my private time to care for her. Currently, life sucks. :-( )

But, no whining, back to the email's subject.

>     Subject: Is there any xindy development still?
> Well, Joachim still pops up on email from time to time :). But he is not
> on this list (afaik, and who can blame him), so cc-ing him. I'd say it's
> evident that xindy is not his priority, true. I don't know 

Effectively, there is no xindy development any more. xindy is in
maintenance mode. I review the patches on TL, checking if I have to
interfer because problems might pop up. No such interference was
necessary by now, all were OK.

> BTW, I guess there is an xindy mailing list on sourceforge
> (
> but given my experiences with sf mailing lists, I'm not going to try to
> subscribe.
>     seems that the program in fact does get updates from time to time in
>     TeXLive.
> Yes, we have merged in simple patches lacking a new upstream release.

The problem here is that there is no xindy upstream anymore, if there
was one ever. Even on my own workstation, I don't have any xindy build
that works besides the one from TL. For all practical purposes, TL is
nowadays xindy's upstream.[*]

The Github project xindy.ctan was setup on Peter's request that he
wanted to have an independent build as the start for xindy's TL
integration. If you look at this projects history, there was never any
development after the TL integration -- it was an intermediate step to
get xindy into TL.

Thus, I have two recommendations:
 -- If you get patches for xindy, accept them. As I wrote, I will look
    at them silently and will pop up if I see any problems.
 -- If Jürgen wants to be a xindy maintainer, there are no objections
    at all from my side. All reports, emails, and changes I received
    from him were very professional and well thought out. (My
    non-reaction was very unprofessional, I have to admit. Shame on

Now, it's 01:45am and I have to go back to my work, want to get at
least some sleep later on...

Best wishes, stay healthy, practice physical distancing[**], may we
meet personally at better times. :-)


[*] This seems to be a good opportunity to document a dirty little
secret. When I started to take over maintenance from Roger, with the
aim of getting xindy into TL, I redefined what the "preferred form of
work" for this project is. xindy was orginally written in Noweb. Roger
left a CVS repository, where two completely independent
implementations are committed, without any documentation or notion
about these implementations and how they relate to each other. I took
the running source, created from noweb, and declared it as the
"preferred form". Lost was all the noweb source documentation that
Roger created, but owing to the two independent implementations, it
didn't have much value (at least, not at this time). This CVS
repository is preserved at Sourceforge, btw. If I would have wanted to
ever go back into xindy development, I would have tried to distangle
the two implementations, turn them into a proper git repository with
branches that show the development history, merge the TL
contributions, and try to find a way to integrate this noweb
implementation into the TL infrastructure. (I don't see any chance for
any such work of mine for the next 5 years, owing to my personal
circumstances; thus my recommendation to simply accept any patches
into TL, and accepting other maintainers for xindy.)

[**] Who has invented the term "social distancing"? It is the antipode
of what we want to do / should do. We need to be socially close, while
keeping our physical distance.

Joachim		     The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the
Rödermark, Germany   one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!"
<jschrod at>    (I found it!) but "That's funny..." [Isaac Asimov]

More information about the tex-live mailing list.