Idea: Git as basis for future CTAN and TeX Live. (Discuss here or at tomorrow's TeX Hour)

Hartmut Henkel hartmut_henkel at
Wed Jun 23 19:37:05 CEST 2021

Hi Jonathan,

On Wed, 23 Jun 2021, Jonathan Fine wrote:
> As well as being a version control system, Git is a distributed
> peer-to-peer content addressable store. It's also efficient in its use
> of network bandwidth and mass storage. And it uses multiple cores when
> possible, so it's also quick. And it is, of course, widely used.
> All this makes git a good foundation for rethinking CTAN and TeX Live.
> This post explores this idea. We focus on git's use of PACKFILES to do
> peer-to-peer file sharing.

for source files Git seems to be the best solution imho. Looking into a
few projects, a Git repo with "normally behaved" contents and entire
history (!) has about the same size as an SVN directory tree with
current SVN backup files for just the latest revision (!). Projects or
collections of files or even audio files or images with a pack file size
of 12...14 GByte are no problem for Git, tried it, works nicely and
stably. But the many binaries for the many TeX Live target platforms
(with many working version updates) will quickly go far beyond this
amount... I guess that the method of binary storage would need to be
done differently for TeX Live... Different Gits for different types of
data... One Git per year for binaries...? There is some Git large file
storage (never tried). In comparison SVN seems to stash the binaries
away in the main server, where the data pile grows and grows,

Best Regards, Hartmut

P.S. Thanks to Patrick Gundlach for his nice Git talk in Bohinj back in
2008. That was a good starter! :-)

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