[texhax] TexLive 2008

Phillip E. Parker phil at math.wichita.edu
Wed Sep 24 06:03:07 CEST 2008

On 09/24/2008 at 12:34 AM, Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:

> > The distribution of the texlive2008.iso as a LZMA compression is 
> > unbearable. A really bad idea. No doubt it compresses better, but on 
> > every and each PC/MAC/Linux you have an unzipper ready to run. Rather 
> > download 100 or even 500MB more than run after a decompressor.

>what you say is pure crap.  Sorry.  Do you really need the ISO image? The
>preferred way to install TeX Live is to use the network installer.

>I could explain why TL-2008 is using lzma compression but I don't see any
>good reason to do it.  There is a very good reason to use lzma compression
>indeed.  But since you didn't ask but complained quite impolitely, I'm not
>willing to waste my time.  Sorry.

And there's precisely the kind of self-righteously arrogant ignorance that
makes some people never want to express themselves in public again. (In
another variant, it makes Kansas such a terrible place in which to live.)

The choice of a highly *nonstandard* compression/decompression algorithm
little used outside the *nix coterie typifies the worst stereotypes of "my
way or the highway" *nix users. (The arXiv suffered from this until Cornell
humanized it somewhat.)

The facts are that a network install is not an option if one is not on a
suitable network. I belabor the obvious to remind us that not all users have
the luxury of having their system maintained by an academic or corporate
sysad. (I do at the office, but not at home.)

And the question of why a more widely-used method (such as zip, or even its
crippled offspring gzip) was not chosen is not at all impolite; it is most
specifically pertinent. Especially when faced with the "my way or not at all"
attitude epitomized by not offering individual users any options whatsoever.

    Phil Parker
URL http://www.math.wichita.edu/~pparker/
Random quote:
  When you drop change at a vending machine, the pennies will fall nearby,
  while all other coins will roll out of sight.

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