TeXLive for Net/FreeBSD

Nikola Lecic nlecic at EUnet.yu
Sat Jul 21 21:22:34 UTC 2007

(Hmmm, claws-mail somehow removed hrs@ from CC; I'm re-adding him.)

On Sat, 21 Jul 2007 21:27:52 +0100
"Edd Barrett" <vext01 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Nikola,
> On 21/07/07, Nikola Lecic <nlecic at eunet.yu> wrote:
> > Yes, I saw this on texlive mailing list, excellent job!
> Thankyou.
> > I'd like to ask
> > Hiroki Sato, you and everyone interested/involved in this (and I'm
> > not fluent in OpenBSD ports interface...) for their opinion
> > regarding to what extent are parts of TeXLive (or are about to be)
> > modularised -- i.e. how the new releases of TeXLive elements (e.g.
> > ConTeXt, XeTeX) can be integrated?
> The project has a dependency "infrastructure" API, which is being
> re-written as we speak. In 2007 it was the TPM (TeX package manager)
> system, which I parsed using a python script - MfSplit  (which you may
> download from my web-page).
> >
> > I use this opportunity to offer a help; I'm particularly interested
> > in XeTeX-related stuff (xetex, (lib)icu-xetex, (lib)graphite-engine,
> > xdvipdfmx) since I use it.
> Be aware that the icu lib must be static in tl, as they have modified
> it.

Yes, but it's possible (if necessary) to create a separate icu-xetex
port. XeTeX from TL207 and XeTeX-devel use different versions of that
lib (3.4 vs. 3.6).

> What do you do with all of this software, may I ask?

This is very fascinating and new field. XeTeX/xdvipdfmx provides you
an unforseen possibility to combine strengths of TeX (or LaTeX/ConTeXt)
and high quality OTF (and AAT) fonts -- and these fonts come with
extensive support for subtle typesetting techniques, support for complex
scripts, and all that in Unicode (unknown to original TeX).

As far as fonts are concerned, Graphite engine is quite new software;
it's a free/libre replacement for ICU, and it seems to be more subtle.

[I personally use them for typesetting in my profession (in the field
of philosophy) -- and that includes typesetting of Ancient Greek,
Sanskrit etc. And the software realm related to complex/ancient
scripts, input methods, fonts, etc. is particularly interesting to me.]

> > For example, development version of xetex
> > (currently not in TeXLive source) includes support for Graphite. I'd
> > like to see (or maybe to maintain, test, or whatever) a xetex-devel
> > port, that can replace standard xetex port (as it is the case with
> > many other applications).
> Sounds like you are planning on making a far more "fine grained" port
> than I have. 

I'm just a FreeBSD user, so I'm actually asking, not planning :) -- and
offering help. (There was no public discussion on these matters on
FreeBSD lists yet, so I'm interested to hear from Hiroki -- he is a
FreeBSD developer).

> Be warned it is a massive port that will drive you insane if you get
> too involved. I have my port in only 4 modules. Read the PDF I linked
> for more info.

Yes, since that would mean re-creating TeXLive from scratch. But I'd be
happy to see a possibility that new versions of at least ConTeXt, XeTeX
and couple of other sophisticated tools can be compiled from ports and
integrated with the rest of TL.

And again, I'm offering help for XeTeX-devel & friends since I
regularly compile them inside the old TL environment and XeTeX provides
the integration of that kind.

(Don't forget that TL only has anual releases.)

> > Just one more question, why do you call TeXLive "LaTeX
> > distribution"? I think that LaTeX is just one part, and by no means
> > the central one.
> Im aware. Quote from the main page of thier site "TeX Live is an easy
> way to get up and running with TeX". Make of it what you will :P
> >
> > I'm now going to read your document more carefully.
> Hope there are no typo's!

Nikola Lečić

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