[texhax] [Re: The details of \csname] TeX Live binaries documentation

Uwe Lück uwe.lueck at web.de
Fri Mar 1 15:19:16 CET 2013

Am Freitag, den 01.03.2013, 13:39 +0200 schrieb Khaled Hosny:
> On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 11:36:50PM +0100, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
> > What are you missing?
> A brain?

The most brilliant minds contribute to this list.

Anyway, Joel Salomon helped me to find words for a feeling of 
unhappiness with the TeX Live documentation: I read pages 
of a TOC in order to find a single entry that is not obviously 
irrelevant for me. Put roughly, I am happy with my TeX 
installation, so it would be nice to find something on "using"
TeX Live rather than "installing" something. Of course, I am 
not looking for TeX or LaTeX documentation, but for what is 
specific with TeX Live.

I have now seen the man pages for TeX Live commands, they are 
fine for me. What I perhaps "miss" is a list of TeX Live 
binaries with one-line descriptions -- that I can find without 
digging through a list of hundred links on other subjects.

The section "Extensions to TeX" is a kind of first steps towards 
such a list. There is an instance of confusion for me when the 
command "etex" is mentioned in the description item for 
PdfTeX, while the description item for e-TeX does not mention 
a TeX Live command for invoking e-TeX.

In this respect, I am saying that the documentation is 
not "complete", something is "missing". But even if the 
documentation does describe "using" TeX Live, it needs 
so much effort to find that that I have sometimes 
given up quickly.

I had found texlive-en.pdf when I googled for 
"list of TeX Live binaries", but I did not find a list of 
TeX Live binaries -- apart from file lists from Linux 
distributions, such lists don't help anything.

With "info" (Linux), I get a list including only a few 
list of binaries with one-line descriptions. On the web, 
there are lists of Unix commands with one-line descriptions, 
such as 


This is alphabetical, the German Wikipedia has a smaller 
list ordered by subjects:


Variants of this just for TeX Live commands would be nice.

It is not urgent, I have "used" TeX Live successfully and happily 
without any documentation, by trial and error. I just started 
to think about "wishes" about TeX Live documentation after some 
contributors had behaved as if I had criticized the TeX Live 
documentation, and after the mentioned idea for "words" for 
such criticism.

 -- Uwe.

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