Incremental TeX-Live ?
P.Taylor at Hellenic-Institute.Uk
Fri Mar 5 17:29:03 CET 2021
Over the years I have installed every version of TeX Live from 2008 to
2021 (pre-test), and keep older versions to help in identifying the
cause of malfunctions when an older source file is compiled with a more
recent version of TeX Live. But I realised today, as I was installing
the most recent instantation of TeX Live 2020, that by now I must have
(probably) hundreds of thousands of duplicate files. While it may well
be the case that only 10% of the files in TeX Live 2008 appear unchanged
in TeX Live 2021 (pre-test), it seems equally likely that perhaps 90% of
the files in TeX Live 2020 appear unchanged in TeX Live 2021
(pre-test). That being the case, it seems to me that there is zero
benefit in re-installing for TeX Live nnnn+1 any file that appeared
identically in TeX Live nnnn. So, a couple of questions :
1. Do the resident experts agree that if my TeX search path(s)
contained the root directory of each installation of TeX Live from
(in my case) 2008 to 2021 (pre-test), then any TeX binary in TeX
Live 2021 (pre-test) would find the necessary support files no
matter where (in that set of directory hierarchies) the last
installed version of that support file was to be found ?
and if so :
2. Would there be any benefit in enhancing the installer to
look for previous versions of TeX Live, and if such exist, not
duplicating (i.e., re-installing) any file that existed unchanged in an
earlier release ?
Clearly if the answer to (2) were "yes", then the installer would also
have to ensure that the earlier versions also appeared (in the correct
order) in the TeX search path(s), but overall it seems to me that
considerable time could be saved when performing a full install if the
previous year's files could be used (when unchanged in the most recent
year) rather than installing a fresh-but-unchanged copy.
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