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Re: The Future of Debian's TeX packages

Christian Schwarz <schwarz@monet.m.isar.de> writes:

> 	b) should we base our TeX packages on an existing TeX distribution
> 	(teTeX, NTeX, etc.) and change only what's necessary to apply
> 	to Debian standards.

I vote for switching to an existing TeX distribution.  I use LaTeX
fairly often to write documents and other things, and have had quite a
bit of frustrations with the Debian package.  I'm not sure which of
teTeX or NTeX is superior.

Whenever making decisions, a useful paradigm is to _not_ consider any
time or money already invested.  After all, that can't be changed.  In
other words, be willing to throw away existing work if a different
path will lead to a better solution.

> b) implies:
> 	- we could start with an existing TeX distribution that has
> 	  been tested on a wide range of systems
> 	- we could cooperate with a team of TeX freaks, that may know
> 	  details much better than we do
> 	- we lose all work that has been put into the existing Debian
> 	  TeX packages
> 	- we have to split the existing distribution (teTeX) into small
> 	  packages we are used to have in Debian (teTeX comes only in
> 	  3 or 4 packages: bin, lib, doc, ...)

My paradigm eliminates point 3.  Point 4 is the only argument against
Plan b.  I don't think it's necessary to resplit the teTeX (if you
choose that one) archive so that there's a correspondence to our
current packaging scheme.  As long as the basic installation doesn't
have an installed size that is too big, it's reasonable to stick with
their packaging scheme.

> Another problem is the release of Debian 1.2. I think Ian wanted to have
> all packages to be converted to the new packaging scheme.

I don't think that's necessary, and I don't believe Ian is advocating
it.  I put forth the criteria that all packages providing shared
libraries be built with the new scheme, as it makes building other
packages which depend on them much easier.  TeX doesn't provide any
shared libraries, so this is a nonissue.


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