[OS X TeX] Installing packages

Gerben Wierda Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Sun Jun 6 16:39:21 CEST 2004

On Jun 6, 2004, at 2:46 AM, Adam Maxwell wrote:

> On 5 Jun, 2004, at 17:23, Gerben Wierda wrote:
>>> Right, there are enough chances now to screw up a working system 
>>> without mixing them up like that :).  I'd rather see an installer 
>>> implemented using the CTAN than depend on MiKTeX/cab files, and then 
>>> file dates shouldn't be a problem, as CTAN is necessarily up-to-date 
>>> (AFAIU).
>> Sadly, this is *not* the case.
> Well, then we're hosed anyway, I guess.  Why is this?
>>> Perhaps it's easier just to tell people to read the manual, though...
>> The current CTAN situation IMO is not fit for automated install. This 
>> is exactly the reason why MiKTeX has its repository athe way it has. 
>> And it is also not feasible to ask the users to read anything. Even 
>> if they are willing to read, they are not always able to understand 
>> because of a lack of experience with things like these.
> My interpretation of this:  CTAN sucks for all platforms, so everyone 
> is working around it.  All of this repackaging seems backward, when it 
> could be eliminated at the source and thus save time and frustration.  
> How long would it take to organize 77847 files (`wc -l FILES.byname`)?

CTAN has *everything* ('comprehensive'). But it does not have 
versioning or quality control or whatever. And it is unusable for 
everyone except the most diehard geeks. TL draws on it, checks for or 
creates TDS conformance and creates the version stamp files that are 
also used by MiKTeX. So TL directly is an option as soon as it becomes 
available online through other means than perforce. MiKTeX uses TL but 
also other means (it does its own versioning but uses TL) as sometimes 
they have newer versions than TL.

Currently, it seems to me that MiKTeX has both high quality and is 
regularly updated. So my guess is that I should look into that. Hoever, 
teTeX (my current base) does not use the versioning of TL (it draws 
from CTAN directly and has its own quality process) so a move to MiKTeX 
would imply a move with the base system as well. Note that i-Installer 
makes that easy enough, I could have a tetex.miktex tree and let the 
user decide at configure time to use teTeX or MiKTeX as the base.


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