[tex-k] Re: web2c-7.5.4, tetex-2.99.10-beta -- patches and problem

Peter Breitenlohner peb at mppmu.mpg.de
Thu Jan 27 10:20:21 CET 2005

On Wed, 26 Jan 2005, Eddie Kohler wrote:

>> Well, we have to decide: either texconfig / fmtutil / updmap default to
>> a global tree used by all users, or we choose user-individual trees.
>> One thing makes it easier for the administrator, the other makes it
>> easier for users.
>> Let us discuss this a little more:
>> default=global:
>>   CON: users have to set variables in order to be able to use my tools
>>   CON: TEXMFMAIN directory listed multiple times in TEXMF variable
>>   PRO: "make install" and admin-use of texconfig works by default
>> default=individual (e.g. TEXMFVAR=~/.texmf-var, 
>> TEXMFCONFIG=~/.texmf-config):
>>   PRO: minimal reduandancy in TEXMF variable (only TEXMFVAR=TEXMFCONFIG)
>>   PRO: users can use all tools without setting anything
>>   PRO: since TEXMFVAR/TEXMFCONFIG != TEXMFMAIN, it now would be possible
>>        to search TEXMFHOME before TEXMFMAIN
>>   CON: documentation needs to be changed!?
>>   CON: "make install" has to be fixed
>>   CON: we need a solution for "global config changes"
>> I think that if we can eliminate the two last CON points about
>> default=individual, I might switch to that. Would that make
>> most people happy?
> Yes!  I think that would be a great solution.

Yes indeed!

>> I can even offer a possible solution for the "make install" issue.
>> We could use the following in Makefile.in:
>> install:
>> ...
>> $(scriptdir)/fmtutil --all
>> $(scriptdir)/updmap
>> That way, the generated files would end up in $TEXMFMAIN.
>> Ideas for "global config changes" (i.e. admin use of texconfig / fmtutil
>> / updmap):
>>   - tell admin to copy files from his TEXMFVAR/TEXMFCONFIG (hm... BAD)
>>   - tell admin to set TEXMFVAR/TEXMFCONFIG (well, still not too good)
>>   - provide wrapper scripts, e.g. texconfig-main which does
>>     (that would work, but we would hard-wire $TEXMFMAIN)

Hardwiring $TEXMFMAIN is certainly OK, if "make install" does the same.

> How about just a switch like --maintainer-mode/-m?

As I said in my original mail on this thread:

I understand the need for TEXMFVAR/TEXMFCONFIG

My objections were
(b) TEXMFHOME coming too late (after all three of the above)


I am very stronly in favor of default=individual. IMHO a casual user runing
texconfig / fmtutil / updmap should certainly not cause any system files
to be modified (at least not in a multiuser environment, where this
hopefully would in any case fail due to lack of permissions). In fact no
files used by other people should be modified (exception: generated fonts).

And I would very much prefer to have
 	: ${MT_FEATURES=appendonlydir:varfonts}
the default in mktex.cnf.


How about this:

1. The defaults (kpathsea/texmf.in) should produce a workable solution
without any duplicates.

2. Users modifying texmf.cnf manually, ought to know what they do.

3. When using texconfig, that program could/should eliminate duplicate trees
and reject unsane configurations. That probably requires some non-trivial
checking but could be extremely useful.

4. A --maintainer-mode/-m or so might be helpful.

I think a sysadmin/texadmin (admin-uid, not admin-person) shouldn't normally
run any TeX related programs.

In our setup we have even removed $TEXMF/bin from the PATH used by root,
thus running TeX&Co requires a special action (e.g., "PATH=... tex ...").
Although occasionally inconvenient, this certainly prevents unintentional

>>   CON: documentation needs to be changed!?

This should include a warning in texmf.cnf about the problems / difficulties
/ dangers (item 2 above).

>>   CON: "make install" has to be fixed

For teTeX hat can easily done with a suitable script, for bare web2c the
defaults ought to produce a workable setup.

>>   CON: we need a solution for "global config changes"

I think --maintainer-mode could work by setting up a different environment:
 	maybe remove TEXMFVAR and TEXMFCONFIG from TEXMF, TEXMFDBS, and...
 	probably something more

Peter Breitenlohner <peb at mppmu.mpg.de>

More information about the tex-k mailing list