Migration TeX/LaTeX: from teTeX --> TeXlive

Roland Smith rsmith at xs4all.nl
Mon Sep 16 18:33:18 UTC 2013

On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 01:57:51AM +0200, Polytropon wrote:
> On Sun, 15 Sep 2013 21:00:22 +0200, Roland Smith wrote:
> > Personally I don't think TeX is a good fit for the ports tree (because of
> > duplication of effort).

I have to add that I think that the chosen strategy (provide a full port and a
minimal port) is a good balance between functionality and maintenance workload.

> In conclusion, that could be said about many other software
> that brings its own package management.

More or less. Not all of those work equally well as tlmgr or the ports tree.

> Of course, LaTeX is
> a big and complex beast that TeXLive manages well (instead
> of the system-provided tools for managing the ports tree).
> In my opinion, a good _integration with_ the ports tree is
> important, so dependencies will be resolved properly (and
> you won't end up havong both TeXLive _and_ teTeX on your
> system for no particular need).

The problem is that if you hand over the management of the TeXLive install to
tlmgr, the ports tree doesn't know and cannot know what is provided and what
is depended on...

> On the other hand, this
> might introduce demands of other "software compilations"
> to move their management out of the system's range, so we
> end up micro-managing many different sets of software in
> their own specific way, abandoning the centralized means
> of maintaining our software...

There is indeed no silver bullet.

> > Since TeXLive is very complete and
> > self-contained, I don't have other ports that depend on TeX.
> It's the port maintainers' task to take care of the proper
> declaration of dependencies, and for system tools to handle
> them. I don't think it is a big problem to make this consistent
> with how TeXLive handles things.

It is not that simple. After every tlmgr run, you'd have to generate a new
plist for the port. Since TeXLive is contained in one directory tree
(/usr/local/texlive/<year>) that part is relatively simple. But tlmgr can also
install scripts or binaries. So after every tlmgr run, the list of binaries
that the port provides and the list of libraries or interpreters (ports) that
it requires would have to be updated. This is not trivial.

And if you ever run tlmgr outside of the port Makefile, the installed port's
information must be assumed to be out of date.

R.F.Smith                                   http://rsmith.home.xs4all.nl/
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