Annual upgrade

Patrick Bideault pb-latex at
Wed Mar 27 00:07:00 CET 2024


I am a LaTeX user since 25 years. Just a user, nothing more. Since a few years,
I update my TeX Live daily, so that I can test the new packages and report them
in the French TUG's bulletin, the Lettre GUTenberg.

A week ago, I decided to upgrade to the TL2024.

For some reasons, it failed. It took me five hours to get a running TeX Live
again, and I pestered some friends for help. I really dislike annoying people,
and I wasted time.

To sum up: I had a running system, I lost it for 5 hours of problem solving, and
then I got it back.

I really had the feeling to have damaged my system on purpose, so that I could
fix it.

And even if the upgrade had been successful at my first attempt, I would have
had the same opinion. I remember last year's awkward feeling when typing these
commands, hoping they wouldn't fail (they didn't).

As the saying goes, "never fix a running system." That is why I have a genuine
question: why did I need to upgrade manually? Why should the TeX Live system
hassle its end users with this? Is this process useful to them?

The TeX Live Manager updates my system daily, and does it perfectly, without me
knowing exactly what it does. And I'm glad for the experienced users that
provide all their knowledge to make these commands running. But why doesn't it
do the yearly upgrade too, based on actual running system? Why do I have to get
in that complex process and type commands that I only use one time per year?
Performing an action you are not used to is an obvious source of potential

To make it short: why wouldn't the TeX Live Manager work like Debian's Advanced
Packaging Tool, APT? I just have to run "apt-get dist-upgrade" and that's
it. I really think such a feature would be very useful for the basic users like

Please don't be offended by the content of this message. I'm only sharing my
feelings in the hope of making things better.

Best regards.

Patrick Bideault

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