[tex-live] Feature request for TL 2014 (or later): Easier installation of local/experimental packages

Ulrike Fischer news3 at nililand.de
Fri Feb 14 11:38:58 CET 2014

Am Thu, 13 Feb 2014 22:58:52 +0000 schrieb Karl Berry:

> Thus, overall, it seems to me that a few shell scripts that you write
> for yourself to do what you want to do seems a lot more likely to have a
> satisfactory result than our trying to invent "generic" functionality
> for it.

Well as I wrote at the beginning I have *two* reasons for the
feature request. And while I can probably solve the first (my own
system) by writing some scripts the second can't be resolved this

"At second when I write a class or a package or prepare a font for
someone else I would like to make installation easy. "

> The stuff you are describing with miktex does not seem simple to me.

It is easy. All users I did sent a zipped texmf tree with some files
were able to add them through the GUI in miktex settings (which also
shows a list of all trees and allows you to move them (to some
extent) up and down. You only have to go to right tab, click on
"add" and browse to the root of the texmf tree. 

The command line commands 

 initexmf --register-root=path/to/root
 initexmf --unregister-root=path/to/root

are easy too. The main problem here is to get around the fear of the
command line and to explain people how to open it. 
The main problem in miktex is that it has no button to run updmap
from the GUI (I always forget to make a feature request ...)

Also over the years I have seen many variants of the question "how
do I add a local package/tree/.." to my system. The answers for
TeXlive always varies a lot (also because they differ depending on
the OS) and are imho not easy to understand for new users: As an
example see here:


Read the answers with a "newbie" in your mind which just got a
template for his thesis (with documentation, various styles, font
files) well prepared in tds.zip format and now wants to include it
in his/her system and is looking for clues. 

Ulrike Fischer 

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