[tex-live] teTeX: no next release

Peter Flynn peter at silmaril.ie
Tue May 30 01:28:55 CEST 2006

Karl Berry wrote:
> Peter, I admit I don't understand what difference it makes to you what
> the default path is.  It's just the default.  Don't you just override it
> with whatever path you want for your systems?  If not, why not?

Sorry, I missed reposting what I originally wrote:

>> *I* can deal with this, but the average user neither knows nor cares 
>> whether it goes in /usr/TeX, /usr/local/texlive/yyyy or wherever: they 
>> simply want it to work, and to be upgradable year by year.

*I* can override it, so can my sysadmins. But it drives the end user
mad, doing what she considers an update to (say) 2006, only to find
that instead of updating last year's binaries and basics, it's
created *another new treeful* of them! complete with its own new
texmf-local. The user doesn't want to be bothered rememberinmg where
she installed the goddessdamned software 12 months ago, she just wants
it updated to the latest and greatest. Really.

I'm sorry, it probably looks like a trivial point to developers, but
it's not. You see it in the worst commercial software too (dare I
say Microsoft Internet Explorer? :-) and I really don't think we should
be emulating this.

Please let us fix the location and stick with it, and not be haring off
after every new damp squib that people invent. The next thing we know,
we'll be installing TL07 in /opt or some other tomfool place.

> Anyway, this year it will be /usr/local/texlive/2006, unless someone
> convinces me otherwise.  The reason I proposed and implemented the
> year-based default is that it simply does not work to install TL X+1
> onto the same directory where TL X was installed.  Nothing good can come
> of that, and the default path shouldn't encourage thinking that it
> works.  That was my reasoning, anyway.

Consistent, excellent.

OK, if it must. Then we should at least do what any other developer
does, and provide a window saying so, or (better) offering to remove
TL2005 having moved texmf-local carefully out of the way, and then
softlink it back. Otherwise over the years the user will accumulate half
a dozen TL directory trees and wonder where all their disk space went.
You think they have time to *look* in /usr ever? :-)

> I would expect .deb/.rpm/whatever repackagings to alter the root to
> whatever makes sense.  In fact, as I understand it, the .deb's go to a
> lot of trouble to move everything into a /usr/{bin,lib,share,...} kind
> of setup, as is the usual practice.  I expect other general Linux
> distributions would want to do the same, if anyone else ever bothers to
> care about TeX ...

I think users would, if they were motivated :-)


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