[tex-live] TeXLive has no stable source tree and resorts to DVD with binaries?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Thu Apr 14 13:23:06 CEST 2011

On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 5:09 AM, Kārlis Repsons
<karlis.repsons at gmail.com> wrote:

> Perhaps I just make some kind of theory here plus it's true that maintenance
> of all-stable file trees is a real work... On the other hand, struggling with
> more package conflicts or incompatible changes can too take time. It just then
> might go off more quietly than what it takes to provide that inter-package
> stabilization (is what I meant with "all-stable").
> (I hope I explained and not too long...)

The most common "use cases" I encounter are a) documents written by a
short list of authors which need to be formatted by the authors and the
publisher, and b) documents included in some widely distributed source
package (see <http://cran.r-project.org/doc/manuals/R-exts.html#Writing-R-documentation-files>
for an example).

In case a), inter-package conficts are a constant problem.  In case b) it is
common to provide a private version of the .tex files that have been found
to "act up" on some systems and require only a very basic TeX system.

Both "use cases" require real work.  The complexity of open  systems tends
to grow over time, so breakage is inevitable, but as long as a) the added
complexity provides needed new capabilities and b) the breakage can be
managed, people will continue to use the system.

I know people who found the problems they had with TeX drove them to
WSIWYG tools, and others who have been unable to get results they consider
acceptable from WSIWYG tools so are willing to do the work needed to resolve
problems they encounter using TeX.  This may say more about the way the
individuals approach problems than about the relative capabilities of the two

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

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