[l2h] Re: Some remarks about Latex2html

Ross MOORE Ross MOORE <ross@ics.mq.edu.au>
Tue, 13 Jul 1999 21:51:35 +1000 (EST)

> Hello,
> last time I had to use your program LaTeX2HTML quite a lot. I had
> installed a version from 1997, which didn't do very well. So I
> installed the newest version from CTAN, (98 1p1) which worked quite
> well, but didn't process the \verbatiminput command correctly. 
> So I got the most recent version. (99 1)
> This one worked very nicely on two machines (RS6000 with AIX 4.2.1 and
> Linux i386, Redhat 6.0), but not on an Linux machine with Redhat 5.2.
> It didn't give any error message, but produced an almost empty page. 
> After upgrading perl from 5.005.02 to 5.005.03 this problem was
> solved.

Thanks for the information.
Such experiences are useful to have on record, and the discussion list
is the appropriate place for them, I think.
> So just 2 remarks:
> Maybe you could send the recent release to CTAN 

Yes, CTAN should be updated. Probably with v99.2 since this is proving
to be extremely stable, and is very easy to install.

Actually CTAN mirrors the Livermore site; so that is where the
update should occur.
In any case, v99.1 is on the TeXLive4 CD, so is available easily to
anyone who is a member of a TeX User Group anywhere around the world.

> and maybe indicate somehow, that a very recent version of perl is
> required. 
Unfortunately that just isn't a true requirement.
I've been using (and developing) LaTeX2HTML with  Perl 5.004_01
for quite some time now; and had no problems with 5.002 before
the last time I updated.

I think you'll find that the platform can be relevant too.
You say that 5.005.02 failed under Redhat Linux, but that 5.005.03
worked fine. Quite possibly the reason for the (sub-)minor revision
was precisely to fix a bug introduced with 5.005.02. Indeed it may
be that the bug was only manifest on certain platforms.

That was just a guess.
Some facts are: 
 from http://www.cpan.org/src/5.0/maint/ version 5.005_02 was being
trialled in August 1998, replacing 5.005_01 dated July'98.
 Yet on http://www.cpan.org/src/5.0/ one sees that by the
end of October'98 the latest version was 5.005_03, though the
archive for this is dated March'99, so I suspect that October
date is bogus. (In any case 5.005_02 only lasted a few months.)
 If you are prepared to try a development version, then the
latest is  5.005_57 from an archive dated May'99, though the
archive for 5.005_50 is dated July'98 --- so there was work
progressing on this branch, even before 5.005_03 was stable.

It would be quite impossible for us to try to maintain a page
with up-to-date information on all the configurations of LaTeX2HTML
that work, or do not. There are 36 different platforms for Perl
at  http://www.cpan.org/ports/index.html and some of these have
multiple sublistings.

Multiply these by the different versions and subversions of Perl,
the number of TeX installations for each platform, and a similar
state of affairs for Ghostscript.  phew.
At least  netpbm hasn't changed since 1994  ;-)

...but I wish it would, since there are some possible new graphics
effects that I would find useful, if implemented and freely available.

The best that can reasonably be done is to have a record in the
mailing-list archives of particular combinations of software that
just happen to fail, for whatever undetermined reason.

If the reason for the failure can be isolated...

 ...then *that* is something worth making known more widely,
in case it affects other platforms as well.

> I like your program a lot.

Thank you very much for saying so.
This kind of feedback is much appreciated.

> Best regards
> Alois Steindl

Regards to you too;
and thanks for spurring me to have a look at CPAN
 --- something I should do more often.  ;-)

	Ross Moore