[OS X TeX] Naive tex live utility question

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Thu Oct 7 07:07:22 CEST 2010

Hi Adam,

On 07/10/2010, at 3:37 PM, Adam M. Goldstein wrote:

> Ok---I get it. TLU will update the packages so long as TL is being updated in a given year, but then TLU will stop updating when TL itself is no longer being updated for that year. 
> I suppose it's the packages more than the binaries I'd be concerned about. If my system architecture hasn't changed, why would I need new binaries?

Well, it sometimes happens that new primitives are added to the underlying
engines. This is particularly so with XeTeX. 

For example, the latest  fontspec.sty  requires a particular primitive,
and accesses it via commands defined in one of  expl3.sty 's supporting
sub-packages. Without that primitive, currently  fontspec.sty  cannot even 
load; so a sufficiently recent XeTeX binary is certainly required.

Similarly there have been new primitives added to  pdfTeX  for various
reasons (e.g. microtype). 

> Packages are likely to have bug fixes, etc. (We hope not new bugs though!)

Not all new packages, written to exploit new primitives say, are such 
that they still work smoothly when those primitives are not available.
Of course they could be programmed to do a test, then react according
to the result of that test; but not everyone programs to this level
of complexity.

> Thanks for the helpful answer!

Hopefully this gives at least one possible reason.

> Adam

All the best,


Ross Moore                                       ross.moore at mq.edu.au 
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419      
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

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