Query from Nature about TexLive for Linux

Taylor, P P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk
Tue May 14 11:42:40 CEST 2019

texlive at schoepfer.info<mailto:texlive at schoepfer.info> wrote:

In case this "pro" wasn't mentioned: Backward compatibility
A tex document from 1995 will compile also today, and will look the very same.

Yes, if by "a tex document" you mean exactly that, and not a LaTeX document or other format that inherently depends on more than one file.  Whilst TeX itself is stable, LaTeX and analogous systems are not, constantly evolving to meet new needs or to address bugs.  I have a LaTeX document that will produce identical results in versions of TeX Live from 2009 to 2016; at 2017 it starts to break, and by 2019 it does nothing (useful) at all.  If you really want to ensure that a document will typeset identically in the future, then you will need to archive not only the source file itself but all files on which it depends.

Philip Taylor

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