[tex-live] TL 13 -- how many maintained installations are there?

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Tue Apr 15 14:04:52 CEST 2014

2014-04-15 13:41 GMT+02:00 Mojca Miklavec <mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com>:
> On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM, AW <alexander.willand at t-online.de> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> while TL 13 will be frozen soon, I'd like to thank to all the people who
>> helped creating and maintaining it.
>> You, e.g. Karl, Norbert, and many others have been working for us, the users.
>> But how many are we, the users?
>> Clearly, you cannot count all of the tex-live installations which come with a
>> Linux distribution. You never know, whether it will be used ever.
>> So maybe we could get a rough estimation of active users by counting the
>> computers which update a given TL 13 installation.
>> Is there a way to find out how many computers have updated TL 13 using tlmgr,
>> at least once? Or is this somewhere between difficult and impossible to find out,
>> because the mirrors don't count how often an update has been downloaded?
>> The introduction of the companion, 2. ed., made a forecast (I'm refering to
>> the German edition): LaTeX wil be used extensivly for another 15 years until
>> 2020.
>> If possible without too much time and effort, I'd like to find out how we
>> perform, ten years later now.
> There's a large number of CTAN mirrors from where users can update
> installation. By simply forgetting all cases when users fetch TeX Live
> and update from a local server at some University, not counting any
> distribution shipped by package managers etc. ... you still need to
> convince admins of individual CTAN mirrors to publish summaries from
> combined logs (rsync, http, ftp). And then you need to deal with users
> with constantly changing IP addresses etc. Or users constantly
> switching between different CTAN mirrors to prevent from counting a
> single user ten times. (IP addresses are something that should not be
> communicated between CTAN nodes, so I don't see any good way to
> correct for that.)
The computers may also be placed behind NAT so that several compuers
will share the same public IP address.

> You could pick a random CTAN node, do a rough count at that node and
> then extrapolate. But that would be highly inaccurate metric. It might
> give you the order of magnitude, but nothing more than that.
> It might be interesting though to introduce an "opt-in statistics
> collection package". I believe that Debian has something like that.

Redhat has opt-in anonymous sending of HW configuration after installation.

> This could be also useful for deciding which packages are popular
> among others. But it would be almost useless in the current scenario
> because most users simply install all packages and be done with it.
> (This might work with MikTeX, but not with TeX Live.) And if it's an
> opt-in feature, you don't get any realistic numbers anyway.
> So: while not entirely impossible to do it, it would probably require
> some joint effort to collect at least somewhat realistic statistics.
> Mojca

Zdeněk Wagner

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