[tex-live] psutils maintenance

Reuben Thomas rrt at sc3d.org
Mon Oct 21 23:20:46 CEST 2013

On 21 October 2013 08:27, Peter Breitenlohner <peb at mppmu.mpg.de> wrote:

> On Sun 20 Oct 2013, Thomas Reuben wrote:
>  It would be nice to move forwards; specifically, at least get 1.20 into
>> Debian and CTAN (and hence TeXLive), if there are no objections, of
>> course.
> Hi Thomas,


> no objections from my side, except that perhaps we should give Angus
> another
> chance to react (within the next few weeks).

He's now done so, and agreed that I can take over maintenance.

> (1) There are a few TL specific changes, e.g., to treat all files as binary
> using '#ifdef WIN32'.  In some programs (not in psutils) there are further
> changes for Akira's W32TeX using '#ifdef W32TEX'.

I've looked at the patches. Currently, some of them will still be needed. I
do not propose to support non-POSIX OSes in psutils' code; however, I'm
happy to add support via gnulib (http://www.gnu.org/software/gnulib/ ) and
GNU autotools. For example, I've already added support for fstat on Windows
using gnulib's fstat module; on the other hand, I can't see support in
gnulib for reopening stdin/stdout in binary mode, so the patch for that
will still be needed.

Here's a list of patches I think are still needed:

patch-01-WIN32: the patches for config.h and psutil.c are no longer needed;
the other patches (all dealing with binary mode I/O) will need to be

patch-10-binary-mode is actually a patch for patch-01-WIN32, so will need
to be reworked in concert with it.

patch-02-PERL, patch-03-main-is-int, patch-04-warnings, patch-05-const,
patch-07-TEMPDIR, patch-08-non-free, patch-09-PERL, patch-11-extern: now
incorporated or redundant

There is no patch-06…

I found one line in one of the patches that I could use: the removal of a
redundant declaration from psspec.c.

Note that psutils 1.20 requires libpaper:


There is a port for WIN32 here:


I have contacted the maintainer of libpaper, which is itself in a similar
state to psutils (basically unmaintained, needs some patches integrating,
could be improved portability-wise) to see if I can help with that in a
similar way to helping with psutils; but since it's a small and already
fairly portable library, it seems reasonable to require it.

As a general principle, I highly recommend using gnulib for [L]GPLed
programs, or, if you're using it instead of patching source (so you're
using it as a packager, not a maintainer), anything GPL-compatible. It's a
little more work than a package-specific patch (or quite a bit more if the
package is not already autotoolized), but then you can get Windows support
(or whatever non-GNU OS you want) for a particular feature in all programs,
and without having to obfuscate the original program.

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