luametatex needs an update

Max Chernoff mseven at
Wed Mar 29 03:51:41 CEST 2023

Hi Norbert,

> > The new version of luametatex found at
> We (TeX Live) don't do binary updates during the year. I am not sure we
> will make an exception for luametatex.

I thought that the reason that TL doesn't update binaries during the
year is because building binaries for 51 systems (the count on Nelson
Beebe's site) takes so much time that it can only realistically be done
once per year. And updating the binaries for just a few systems would
mean that different platforms would have different binary versions,
which would be a support nightmare.

But TL doesn't build LuaMetaTeX at all; I believe that it just copies in
the binaries from Mojca's build farm

which rebuilds the binaries for each platform every time that that a
source update is pushed.

Biber works the same way, and as far as I can tell it is often updated
throughout the year
Since the binaries are rebuilt for every platform automatically and the
download size on the binaries is quite small, I can't see any reason why
TL shouldn't update the LMTX binaries throughout the year.

I'm saying all of this as just a user with no involvement in building
TL, so this is all probably much harder than I'm imagining. I'm sure
that I've made a few mistakes above; please correct me where I'm wrong.

> If you want ConTeXt, you are advised to use their standalone
> distribution.

I agree that using the standalone distribution is often preferable, but
if the proposed solution to any ConTeXt bug in TL is "use a different
distribution", then why distribute ConTeXt at all?

I get that TL will have a slower update schedule than the ConTeXt
standalone distribution (which will update 3 times in a day sometimes),
but I see no reason why TL shouldn't update ConTeXt once a month or so.
>From a user perspective this sounds no more challenging than any other
package update, but as someone who has been programming for a few years,
I know that things are rarely as simple as they sound.

Again, just a user, so please take everything that I say with a grain of

-- Max

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