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Re: The Future of Debian's TeX packages

> 'Christian Schwarz wrote:'
> >
> >So the major question is:
> >	a) do we stick to our own Debian-TeX distribution -- that is:
> >	we have to get all TeX sources/macro packages from CTAN and
> >	have to arrange/compile/config them to apply to our standards, or
> This may be the option that fits our source code packaging best.
> >	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'd add a disadvantage to these is that we won't have sources (well,
> maybe we would) and the filesystem standard would have to be verified
> after each new release (hard work too).
Both packages (teTeX and NTeX) have full sources and conform to the 
TDS (TeX Directory Structure) filesystem setup. Therefore it isn't
very hard to make sure that the distribution conforms to the FSSTND.
As both packages were (originally) done on linux, they also have an
FSSTND compilation mode which should set most paths to the right point. 
The question we should work on is which of them to use.
teTeX is the system available for most platforms, i.e. it works on nearly any
Unix machine out there and has been selected as the favoured binar
distribution of TeX/LaTeX by the CTAN maintainers. It is very easy to install,
but provides only the basics of LaTeX (i.e. no special fonts, no macros from
the contrib tree,...). NTeX on the other hand works very well on Linux,
but uses an own package format it maintains using an own (though quite slow)
package maintainance tools. This makes NTeX much harder to port to 
debian format (as you basically would have to either drop the NTeX package 
maintainance or to rewrite it).
As most of the advanced packages of NTeX are generally not needed (and a
small documentation file containing information on how to get TeX macros
from the CTAN network should be easy to write), I'm in favour of 
the teTeX package.
NTeX has one major adavntage, it includes XeT--TeX (for left to right
languages), JTeX (japanese support)and support for Klingon, all 
which isn't supported by teTeX at all.


for those who are interested in looking at those packages, take a look at
http://darfnix.mathematik.uni-stuttgart.de/pub/tex/ntex/ for NTeX and
  ftp://ftp.dante.de/tex-archive/systems/unix/teTeX/distrib/ANNOUNCE or
  ftp://ftp.tex.ac.uk/tex-archive/systems/unix/teTeX/distrib/ANNOUNCE or
for teTeX

Helmut Geyer                                Helmut.Geyer@iwr.uni-heidelberg.de
public PGP key available :         finger geyer@kalliope.iwr.uni-heidelberg.de

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