[tex-live] Stable vs. Unstable/Testing Update Repositories?

Norbert Preining preining at logic.at
Wed Feb 24 01:32:12 CET 2010

On Di, 23 Feb 2010, C.M. Connelly wrote:
> That's a reasonable policy, but it's not the policy that's
> suggested by the easy access to the updating features (which are
> also used for installing additional packages) in the current TeX
> Live.  If updating is something that only the most hardcore,
> living-on-the-edge folks should be doing, it should be hard(er) to
> do.
> With TeX Live 2008, there was no updater, so I installed the

Wrong. TL2008 shipped tlmgr from the very beginning.

> Near the end of 2009, tlmgr came out for TL 2008, and I installed

It was in TL2008 from the beginning.

>     KB> 2) There is no feasible way for anyone involved (authors,
>     KB> CTAN, TL) to know what a given update breaks and what
>     KB> doesn't.  So there's no feasible way to have branches (in
>     KB> addition, it would be a huge amount of work and a huge
>     KB> additional complication).
> The same argument could be made about any of the Linux
> distributions, which have thousands of potentially interacting

Debian: about 2000 Debian developers
SuSE: about 100++ (no idea) employees (paid!)

TeX Live: probably 4 who do that core stuff?

Can you send over some people working for us, please?
Can you employ some people for us that work full time on TL, please?

Please see the reality. It is ATM Karl, Tomek, Manuel and me doing 
most stuff, with say different areas of responsabilities.

> The same options could be used for TeX Live.  There could be a
> time-based progression, where new packages come in from CTAN and

Please go ahead and program something similar. Our scripts are
all free and open and the source is on the web/svn.

But keep in mind that we want to keep only one svn repository
without branches etc, the whole bunch is already big enough.

> The beamer issue is just an example of the problems that can
> happen when you're dumping brand-new untested code into a update
> stream that's easily accessed by naive users.

Then they should make a backup, not update in critical situations,

> I'd be even happier if there was a stable repository for each TL
> release that only had bugfixes added to it and could be used by
> ordinary users without fear of breaking their systems.

Reality is different. 

tlmgr/infra structure is practically a one-man-show, package updates
are done by one only.

We don't have any test cases, we don't have the man power, 
suggestions there are many, helping hands a few!

Best wishes

Norbert Preining            preining@{jaist.ac.jp, logic.at, debian.org}
JAIST, Japan            TU Wien, Austria           Debian TeX Task Force
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