[texhax] kerTeX: e-TeX, CWEB and packaging!

Thierry Laronde tlaronde at polynum.com
Sun Jan 1 23:56:25 CET 2012

The 0.9999.0.2 version of kerTeX has been released.

This version includes:
	- NEW! NTS team' e-TeX (e-TeX passes the 3 steps ETRIP test); for
	the ones unaware, amongst other things, e-TeX offers left-to-right
	and right-to-left...

	- NEW! Donald E. Knuth and Silvio Levy' CWEB programs (CWEBINPUTS
	accept the same syntax for path searching as the other kerTeX
	programs: colon separated alternatives);

	- NEW! A packaging system!

kerTeX passes the TRAP (METAFONT), TRIP (TeX), TWIST (New name for
MetaPost torture test) and ETRIP (NTS e-TeX) tests.

                         WHAT IS KERTEX?

KerTeX aims to be a portable, maintainable, small and robust TeX kernel
System, providing the basis upon which everything depends: D.E. Knuth's
digital typography programs.

It has maximum portability: C89 and that's all the binaries program. For
running, one program---MetaPost---depends on a handful Bourne shell
script. For the administration of the system, we use only a limited
subset of essential POSIX.2 tools (that can typically be found on

KerTex has to be thought as a guest system: it is hosted by an OS. Once 
kerTeX is "ported" to the OS, the ideal would be that TeXpkg are solely
the problem of kerTeX: one packages for kerTeX, and the host system has
nothing to worry about.

KerTeX is small (see LISEZ.MOI/README):

	- 10 Mb of sources to download.

	- The sources are taken read-only by the R.I.S.K framework. So one
	needs, at least... 16 Mb of writable space to compile and package
	(with R.I.S.K SAVE_SPACE=YES option, that removes all intermediary
	products---including the generated Makefiles...---once a target is
	obtained (make SAVE_SPACE=YES; make SAVE_SPACE=yes pkg).

	- The initial installation needs 16 Mb of free space.

	- After installation, kerTeX uses its own packaging system to
	compile the dumps (for METAFONT, TeX, e-TeX and MetaPost) and to
	generate the fonts and derived TFM. It is so for not running the
	compiler/interpreter as root. 

		This adds 9 Mb to the base system. So it needs apx. 25 Mb to


AWARDED! best software of 2012! [so far]


Mr Euclides [Alexandria]: "Whoa!... If only I had had it before, I
wouldn't have to copy my books by hand! And furthermore, I wouldn't have
to answer again, and again and again! the very same question: How were
your "other" books lost ? That's not my _books_ that were lost: that's
my time, trying to install another TeX distribution!"

                      EXTRACTS FROM THE FAQ

Q: We are professionals in the printing business, with professional
needs. Do you have a kerTeX-pro?

A: no: all our products are professional ones.

Q: We were planning to install a TeX distribution. So we have bought a
Top10 supercomputer; planned to hire 30 TeX wizards and were in
negociation to buy some Megawatts when heating is almost over, and
cooling not already there, in order to have cheaper prices. And now, you
announce this!!!! What shall I do?

A: Resp.: sell, fire and revoke. With your pocket money, go to the next
supermarket and buy a middle sized programmable toaster. It should have
memory enough to cross-compile kerTeX for your wrist-watch.

                         GET THE FACTS!

The scientific community has shamelessly hiden what is known as David
Hilbert's 24th problem---because it was deemed too hard. Here we restore
the facts. David Hilbert has spoken in this way:

"And last, because it is the most urgent; because it is the most
difficult and shall be done first! I'm going to speak about the
mathematical typographic problem!

"We hear: TeX-easy ignorabimus: we don't know how to install TeX easily,
and we will never know. I say: TeX-easy ignoramus: we don't know _yet_!

"But because typography must help the mind; must be by its clarity the
shortest path to the meaning (when there is one...); because a
mathematician has to be able to draw new signs if he sees fit; to
express the link between the notions by choosing the same letter, but at
the same time showing the differences by rendering them in different
shapes, a mathematician should never again [pause; lump in his
throat]... never again [closing his eyes and shivering] be forced to
use, because there was nothing else left, a gothic font! [loud cries;
guitars; mathematicians shouting their love and throwing their
underwears toward the platform].

"So I say: from the mathematical typographic heaven Donald E. Knuth's
has offered us! nobody should be allowed to banish us!"


In this moment when everybody will deliver "best wishes", I must
recognize that the "best" is not my realm: I'm human. All I know is an
effort towards a better. But a better _done_.

This effort has a name: kerTeX!

And it's here:

http://www.kergis.com/kertex.html [FRENCH|

http://www.kergis.com/en/kertex.html [ENGLISH (sort of)]

        Thierry Laronde <tlaronde +AT+ polynum +dot+ com>
Key fingerprint = 0FF7 E906 FBAF FE95 FD89  250D 52B1 AE95 6006 F40C

More information about the texhax mailing list