[tex-live] -var and -local [was:] install for compr...

Staszek Wawrykiewicz staw at gust.org.pl
Tue Jun 22 07:55:32 CEST 2004

Karl Berry [KB] wrote:
KB> We've always used texmf-var for this.  I wasn't aware we intended to
KB> change it.  Thomas?
KB> ...
KB> Exactly.  That's how I wrote the TL documentation, too.  I think the
KB> distinction is a good one.

Thomas Esser [TE] wrote:
TE> Yes, texmf-var now contains the automatically generaled stuff. 
TE> TEXMFLOCAL contains the local additions and customization. That 
TE> sounds logical to me...

Good point! But from practical and simple user's point of view for TL
installation it is now obligatory having not only VARTEXMF but also
TEXMFLOCAL (not to mention texmf, texmf-dist and texmf-doc installed). 
I played with different (strange?) settings like removing TEXMFLOCAL in
texmf.cfg (why not?) and it seems that now I have to copy to VARTEXMF all
needed config files by hand (I ignore here the current state of what was
made by install-tl, anyway incomplete in that regard; I can also consider
that TEXMFMAIN could be RO for the user).  

Thomas, having in mind your good arguments (I received some more directly,
many thanks), the question is: should TL (or teTeX) be more friendly and
easy to maintain for the admin or for the simple user? I have several
experiences that the admins just ignore (or not understand) the TeX world
and install the TeX stuff _as is_ (teTeX from strange linux distributions
or even TL). I still think that for such reasons it would be much more
easy for the user having (and maintaining) just one /home/texmf directory
(or VARTEXMF for single user system) for not only private macros but also
for the format file with needed hyphention patterns and some config files.
It would be easier when (one needed) format and config files could be kept
in the same tree as it would be more natural an understandable.

Kaja Christiansen [KCh] wrote:
KCh> So it does to me... Let's keep it this way, if possible. As it 
KCh> happens, that's how I've kept our texmf-var and texmf-local here for 
KCh> years :-)
KCh> Along this line, it'd be logical to initialise texmf-local as an 
KCh> empty directory to start with...

texmf-local is not only empty now, but contains customization files.
The problem is to find an agreement which could satisfy both admins
and simple users.
Anyway, if we're going to switch to the current bahaviour (*hot* files
like formats only in VARTEXMF, config files in TEXMFLOCAL), we (who?)
have to rewrite many documentation files for TL...

Hope not annoying,

Staszek Wawrykiewicz
StaW at gust.org.pl

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