[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 13:44:08 CEST 2011

On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 5:18 AM, Joseph Wright
<joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk> wrote:
> [...]
> The reality is that the only way a (La)TeX
> package gets used is if it gets released. (Remember that there is MiKTeX
> as well as TeX Live, so it's not even just a TeX Live issue.) The
> workflow for a package author is simple:
>  - Write package
>  - Upload to CTAN
>  - TeX Live/MiKTeX pick up package
>  - It gets distributed
>  - Bugs appear
>  - You (hopefully) fix them
>  - Upload to CTAN and loop

The price of reliability (in the sense that your TeX documents can be formatted
when you need them) is eternal vigilance.

The diverse ways in which TeX is used make it impossible for authors to test all
combinations and permutations.  What matters is whether a package works in
real documents.  Many of us use the same templates over and over with different
words but the same set of TeX packages.  If your templates are at all
complex and
you want them to work reliably, you need to create a set of test templates and
check them regularly against the current TL updates, and against the pre-release
binaries during the annual test cycle.  If a new or changed macro package breaks
your document, it is best to discover that when the package (update)
is released,
rather than hours before some deadline.   If a new version of a binary
breaks your
documents, it is best to discover that prior to release.

Pretty much the same principles hold for people who work with large software
systems that rely on open source platforms.

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

More information about the tex-live mailing list