[tex-live] inclusion of libraries

gnwiii at gmail.com gnwiii at gmail.com
Tue May 23 16:56:09 CEST 2006

On 5/22/06, Jonathan Kew <jonathan_kew at sil.org> wrote:

> A question regarding libraries and linkage preferences, as I'm
> working towards including XeTeX source in TeX Live:
> xetex depends on several libraries that are not currently included in
> the TL source tree. Currently, it links statically with several ICU
> libraries and with SIL's TECkit, and dynamically with the system's
> installed versions of fontconfig, freetype, imagemagick, and zlib.
> [...]
> TL practice seems to be to include source of all required libraries
> in texk/lib, and to link statically so as to produce self-contained
> binaries, though there are configure options such as --with-system-
> zlib, etc., to use installed libraries rather than TL private copies.
> [...]
> Guidance would be welcome.... thanks!

There is a question of resource management.  You have things working
with system libraries, while adding new libraries to the TL source tree
means more stuff for TL people to maintain, bugs in libraries coming back to
TL instead of to the appropriate package author, etc.

I'd suggest that TL continue to use static linking for "core"
components (mostly because
there are lots of systems out there with broken configurations, so it
is nice to think
that at least tex will run even if nothing else does), but that
dynamic linking is fine for newer, somewhat "experimental" components
that will only ever be installed on a fraction
of the systems where TL is used.  The sources are there, so anyone who
really needs
something different can build it themselves (or talk someone into
doing it for them).

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

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