[OS X TeX] Installing packages

Gerben Wierda Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Fri Jun 4 17:47:54 CEST 2004

> I didn't know the situation was quite this bad.  OK, How about a
> LaTeX package manager a la fink?  Essentially, this is a set of
> package-by-package rules for installing packages.  Basically, we
> novice users depend on and trust the power users to write the rules.
> The payoff is that novice users don't have to become power users to
> simply install a package.  Of course, there will be some 'rare'
> packages that it doesn't know about and it the rules it has will
> always lag new releases of packages, but that's still better than me
> having to figure out the arcane rules of package management.

The idea has merit. The problem is maintenance. I generally follow the 
policy that I create as little maintenance as possible, and preferably 
I use someone else's maintenance. E.g., I use teTeX's texmf tree 
because it is well maintained instead fo trying to build my own 
selection from TeX Live's Master tree. If I encounter a problem, I try 
to make the original maintainer change things instead of doing my own 
patches. Thomas Esser has been responsible for major improvements of 
several of his script in such a way that they could be used in 
i-Packages. Had I don that myself, I would have had the job to keep up 
with his other developments.

So, when I am going to look into this, I will only do it if it can be 
done without adding massive maintenance in yet another place (namely 
mine). If it can't be done without generating a situation where humans 
have to do synchronizing between several distributions, I will do it. 
That way you produce something that does not break as soon as people 
support dwindles.


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