Packaging acrotex with TeX Live

Karl Berry karl at
Sun Oct 11 23:35:37 CEST 2020

Hi Jason,

    there anything in the way of TeX Live shipping acrotex?

Many years ago, after some discussion about Acrobat dependencies, etc.,
Dr. Story simply asked me not to include his various acropackages in TL.
Most of Dr. Story's packages are thus not in TL. (I have added a few
completely generic ones over the years. He sure does amazing work.)

I imagine we could ask him again, but (a) first I would want to do
research about dependencies, etc., and I don't have any time for this
for the foreseeable future, and (b) preparing this big package for TL
will be quite a bit of work.

Thus, my suggestion for now is that you, or someone else who wants this,
do the packaging and upload it to (see
info at bottom of that page for details). There is certainly no problem
with having them on tlcontrib.

    eforms quite useful, and don't use Acrobat in my PDF generation pipeline.)

And what do you (or your users) use to read the resulting forms?

It's true that I have been somewhat lax about allowing form-related and
media-related PDF packages into TL even though, in practice, they have
required nonfree PDF readers to work well, as far as I know. There was
some code in the evince or okular repositories at one point which is the
fingerhold I grabbed to allow it; I don't know if that code ever went
mainstream or if any of the other free software viewers work with
typical cases of these fancy pdf features.

I'm glad to hear there has been some success with evince. I haven't had
a lot of luck myself, but it could easily be a version issue. Or a
standards vs. non-standards issue, as George describes.

Ulrike: I know the standard is open, but if the practical reality is
that it is only nonfree software that supports feature XYZ, it wouldn't
be right to include packages whose main purpose is to deal with feature
XYZ.  This has always been the case with TeX Live (and teTeX and tex-k
before that).

As for hyperref, of course creating forms is hardly its main
purpose. Thus I feel justified in ignoring the issue there. It is all a
big dark gray area, admittedly.


More information about the tex-live mailing list.