[tex-live] Packaging TeX for (Linux) distributions (was: teTeX: no next release)

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Tue May 30 17:16:58 CEST 2006

Zdenek Wagner <wagner at cesnet.cz> wrote:

> On Tue, 30 May 2006, Dr. Werner Fink wrote:
>> Hmmm ... I'm the maintainer of teTeX here at SuSE (we're not Redhat based).
>> Two major problems I see with TeXLive, first it is a HUGE one, therefore

I didn't get that mail, and it doesn't show up in the archives of
texlive (is there any for the tetex list? I'm only subscribed to

I'd be more interested in reading Werner's mail than Zdenek's.

>> I've to drop some stuff to get it fit to the size of teTeX .... 

Maybe looking at the way the Debian texlive packages are split is
interesting for you.  The splitting is not yet satisfactory, but it's a

>> next is:
>> is there a clear policy and check(!) about license stuff within the
>> TeXLive tree.
> I believe so. I just remind e-mails in this list from the last half year.
> TL as well as other sources contain fonts that are believed to be free but
> it was not sure. Developers of TL work hard to find the official message
> stating that the fonts are free etc. You can find about the policy just by
> reviewing the archive of the texlive list.

There is a clear policy:

,---- http://www.tug.org/texlive/LICENSE.TL
| To the best of our knowledge, all software in this distribution is
| freely redistributable (libre, that is, not necessarily gratis), within
| the Free Software Foundation's definition and Debian Free Software
| Guidelines.  If you find any non-free files included, please contact us
| (references given below).

The TeXLive people have been equally responsive and helpful with license
problems as Thomas always has been.  As for the checking, I fear there
has been no complete and documented (reproducible) license auditing,
neither of teTeX nor of TeXlive.  We (some Debian people) are currently
doing that.  Or trying to, it's a huge amount of work.

We have developped a couple of scripts to merge information from the
TeXlive tpm files (for the Debian teTeX packages, these have been
adapted or will be), from the TeX Catalogue and from manual checking
into a copyright file that allows to trace the copyright of individual
files to their respective CTAN packages and licenses.  Writing and
testing the scripts was fun compared to doing the actual audit...

If SuSE, or anybody on the TeXlive list, is willing to join efforts, we
would be glad (and it should be easy to do it in the general TeXLive
context instead of the Debian source packages).

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX)

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