[tex-live] teTeX: no next release

Michael A. Peters mpeters at mac.com
Tue May 30 11:22:01 CEST 2006

// mesage sent to Frank Küster that I neglected to cc the list on :-/

On Mon, 2006-05-29 at 16:25 +0200, Frank Küster wrote:

First of all, thank you for the TeX related man pages that you wrote
that have helped me :)

> It's not clear to me what you want to achieve with that tetexrpm
> project.  If teTeX were still actively developed, I understand it
> make sense to keep packages for rpm-based distributions as compatible
> possible, and maintain them at a central place.  But now that it's
> abandoned, I don't see the benefit of this.

I started the project before I knew teTeX would be abandoned.
The intention was provide a way for addon packages and updates to be
installed. As an RPM should never own any file in /usr/local (where RH
puts TEXMFLOCAL) and I really like to have _everything_ on my system
under the management of RPM, creating a new TEXMF tree for updates was
the only option that would guarantee no file conflicts with present or
future packages.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but (I guess like teTeX) it looks like TeX Live
does not use "pristine" upstream sources, but rather creates zip
archives from what is on CTAN. While I'm sure that RPM files could be
created from the individual TeX Live zip archives, I think it is better
to use "pristine" upstream when possible. That may actually help avoid
situations where a license is mis-interpreted and a file is modified
that the upstream author did not want modified.

In fact with tetexrpm, even before the recent cstex issue, I had written
policy in the guidelines that patches would not be done at all because I
don't want tetexrpm to be a fork.

> Either someone steps up and takes the task of maintaining teTeX; but
> then the rpm creation is the smaller part.  The real work would be to
> keep the texmf tree up-to-date, and to take care for the source tree.

With respect to teTeX being "dead" now - sitting on my hard drive right
now is a set of "teTeX like" RPMs built from TeX Live 2005. I could not
use pristine source because of bootstrap issues (you need TeX installed
to unpack the dtx files).

I'm not quite ready to make them public, but I think it is the right
solution for people (like me) who like the teTeX packaging.

The "real work" of maintaining the texmf tree and the source tree IMHO
is not needed. Let TeX Live do that, and use the TeX Live yearly
snapshot as the base for the packaging of something that is equivalent
to current RPM packaging of teTeX. That way effort is not wasted.
Development for free UNIX LaTeX can continue in TeX Live, and when TeX
Live makes a release, the "teTeX like" packaging can then be created
rather easily from it. No need to maintain a separate source and TEXMF

> Furthermore, I think the best thing we got from Thomas is the
> infrastructure, which has been merged into TeXlive and is still
> maintained by him there.

I agree - let TeX Live be where development of working free TeX

>   Work on selecting and updating CTAN packages,
> and in creating useful collections, is probably better done within
> TeXlive, or by making the MikTeX installer work with a preinstalled
> system.

I think it is better to use the pristine zip files as supplied by the
ctan contributors as much as possible, rather than building an RPM from
someone elses unpacking of those zip files.

With respect to MikTeX - I do not like to use multiple package managers.
I like to use one package manager. The fact that I can use one package
manager is a great benefit that Linux has over Windows and Mac OS X.

> Regards, Frank

Take care, and again, thank you for the man pages :)


More information about the tex-live mailing list