[tex-live] [Fwd: Re: TeXLive Perl + latexmk (windows)]

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Apr 14 14:12:00 CEST 2010

On Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 10:43 PM, Reinhard Kotucha
<reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:

> On 14 April 2010 Philipp Stephani wrote:
>  > Am 13.04.2010 um 14:55 schrieb Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard:
>  >
>  > > Not that I'm a big fan of windows, but let's not exaggerate the
>  > > problems with this system.
>  >
>  > There are no substantial problems with Windows, only wrong
>  > expectations. If you expect Windows to behave like Linux, you're
>  > going to be disappointed. MikTeX is popular because it feels like a
>  > native Windows application, while TeX Live still seems to be biased
>  > towards Linux.

The problems I have seen are more to do with the 3rd party "utilities"
such as ghostscript, perl, ruby, icon (for noweb), tcl/tk, etc. With linux
these are usually provided by the distribution and used by TeX and
other software.

The TeX users I know all need other software for the work that they
publish using TeX.   Much of this software also uses 3rd party utilities,
so on Windows you may end up with several versions of ghostscript,
perl, etc.

> Because TeX Live avoids the crappy Widows registry, or what?  Nothing
> within TeX Live is Linux-specific or platform-specific at all.  TeX
> Live just supports ***all*** operating systems which are in use today.
> There is absolutely no reason why people shouldn't use TeX Live under
> Windows.
> Can you explain why Windows users should use MikTeX instead of TeX
> Live?  Did you ever try TeX Live on Windows yourself?  If yes, what's
> wrong with TeX Live?

Many people decided to use MiKTeX years ago when TL did not have the
current installer, or when the installer was less robust than it is now.  My
impression is that TL is still "fragile", e.g., when user has some old version
of perl, etc., early in the PATH.   Recent TeX adopters tend to use what
works for others, so MiKTeX will continue to be used on more Windows
machines as long as it is good enough for most users, e.g., until ConTeXt
MkIV supplants LaTeX.

MiKTeX has a "portable" configuration that can be installed on a USB
stick and does not touch the registry.

TL is used on WIndows by people who were already using TL on other
platforms or who need something not available in MiKTeX.  ConTeXt
MkIV users currently have to install the "minimal" distro, but the
situation will change if TL finds a way to keep up with the ConTeXt
update schedule.

Many people can work comfortably on Windows using MiKTeX or TL,
but there are also many who struggle to get noweb, ConTeXt,
sagemath, etc. to work -- all things that are easily done in current
linux distros.

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

More information about the tex-live mailing list