[tex-live] TL2004: Technical problems and testing

George N. White III aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Fri May 7 15:28:00 CEST 2004

On Fri, 7 May 2004, Hans Hagen wrote:

> >More discussion is still needed... Both Thomas and me still keep our
> >positions ;-))
> Isn't the main problem here the forced one year cycle of new versions? I
> agree that we should be able to rigourously clean up and update (say tetex
> 3) but at the same time we need to get a robust distribution in a period
> that is too short for testing all the implications of such changes.
> Unfortunately the current changes do not permit us to use updated tex/font
> files with old binaries. Fortunately we have the temf.cnf file to privide
> us backward compatibility. I can imagine that tex live ships with an
> extended texmf.cnf file (with your proposed additoons)

Time of developers and maintainers is a limiting resource, so it should be
spent carefully.  Users of free software must expect to put in some
extra effort to conform with choices made by developers and maintainers --
if they don't like those choices they can think about joining in the
development effort where they can influence decisions.

I worry that an extended texmf.cnf file will lead to a mass of problems
with trees that mix old and new directories and files.  It is better to
spend time making a robust distro that showcases the new tree.  I see
nothing wrong with a new distro that requires users to do things
differently as long as the documentation is there.

Maybe the people who oppose using the new TDS for TL2004 could produce
"TeX Dead 2004" consisting of a debugged "TeX Live 2003" (does this need
to work on Win9x?).  Then others can get on with producing "TeX Live 2005"
which would not be released until it is finished, hopefully in late 2004.

George N. White III  <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
  Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada

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