TeTeX and TeXLive

Nikola Lečić nikola.lecic at anthesphoria.net
Sun Dec 16 07:21:46 PST 2007

On Sun, 16 Dec 2007 22:59:55 +0900 (JST)
Hiroki Sato <hrs at FreeBSD.org> wrote:
>  I have tried to create TeXLive port and have some working results,
>  but I cannot commit it because the following issues still remain:

Hiroki, thank you for your reply. Please find some comments and
questions below.

>  1. Compatibility with other packages which uses TeX.  Some depend on
>     old teTeX structure, some depend on hard-coded directory
>     structure, and so on.  teTeX in the current ports tree has various
>     glues for such software which are not integrated into teTeX yet.
>  2. Finer-grained package management is needed.  Creating a TeXLive
>     port as "one very large package" is possible but I do not think it
>     would work well.  There are many people who do not want to install
>     such a large package (TeXLive needs >500MB disk space) for a
>     simple use, and who can install it but want to update some
>     specific macro packages after that.  Also, I want to solve a
>     situation that we have print/tex and print/teTeX separately.

Great to hear that you are working on highly fine-grained version
(OpenBSD TeXLive port actually consists of 3 huge chunks +

>  Another prototype is based on finer-grained packages---it has
>  ports/tex for TeX related ports.  The number of packages which
>  extracted from TeXLive distribution and created as ports is 1232 (in
>  my local tree).  And then I created meta-ports that installs
>  predefined package sets called "core", "basic", "latex", and "full"
>  for example.  "core" means Plain TeX + METAFONT + some DVIware,
>  "latex" means LaTeX macro set, "basic" means core+latex, and "full"
>  includes all other packages (this can be broken down more finely).
>  And ports that use TeX needs a line like "USE_TEX=basic" in the
>  Makefile as GNOME-related ports do.  I think this is the way we have
>  to pursue on a long-term basis.
>  In short, modularization of TeXLive distribution is needed for such a
>  way.  At first I thought it is not difficult because package
>  management information was included in the TeXLive distribution (in
>  XML), but I noticed that it was totally broken.  So I am in the
>  middle of fixing the information.

I'm curious to hear more about your ideas related to this partition of
"full" part: what USE_TEX actually does? Invokes parts of TeXLive
install scripts? For example, if I want to install Omega -- is it one
port or meta-port? -- how the integration happens?

(And BTW, what source are you using for your work? 2007 release or
current SVN version?)

>  This is a progress report from the current teTeX maintainer who is
>  trying to update TeX in the ports tree to TeXLive.  As I explained,
>  if we go with the finer-grained package model, over 1000 ports have
>  to be added at a time, so testing them should be done in a separate
>  tree at least.  I hope I will be able to set up a public tree for
>  testing and collaborative work this month...

(a) They have so many micro-packages, but as for a lot of software
    included, TeXLive behaves like a distro: projects are nearly
    independent. For example, TeXLive source can be compiled with ~100
    --without-AAAs. Among these AAAs are large projects such as
    bibTeX, Aleph/Omega, pdfTeX, pdfeTeX, XeTeX... Can a single separate
    port be created for each addition of this kind?

    This leads to the following question I'm particularly interested in:

(b) Update of independent projects. I shall take XeTeX as example:
    XeTeX-0.996 that is included in TeXLive2007 is very old. New devel
    version (0.997) exists for a long time and users are very
    interested in it because it's very stable and contains some amazing
    features (Graphite support, Unicode math typesetting, etc.).

    XeTeX-devel can be compiled against existing TexLive2007, but it
    asks for some experience, more than average TeX user has. That's the
    space for FreeBSD port: a possibility to have ports such as
    print/xetex-devel would be great because some users don't want to
    wait 2008 to update it through new TeXLive. This goes for many other
    projects which are actively developed. In the case of XeTeX, this
    means that we could have:

      print/xetex       (TeXLive core rebuilt with --with-xetex)
      print/xetex-devel (third-party XeTeX source, with independent
                         install scripts specially tweaked for
                         FreeBSD port if necessary)
      devel/libgraphite (currently used by XeTeX-devel only, but
                         usable for many other non-TeX projects,
                         therefore ported and maintained intependently)

    Of course, these -devel ports would be a challenge for maintainers,
    but it would be great to have some kind of infrastructural
    relationship between print/BBB (officially in TeXLive) and
    BBB-devel ports.

    What do you think about some kind of support like this for replacing
    of old parts of "full" part with new versions and how does your
    working version behave regarding this?

(BTW, I've recently started creation of print/xetex port which should
have been backed by teTeX. So, it's better to stop that work :-))
Nikola Lečić :: Никола Лечић

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