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Re: Bug#312897: ITP: texlive -- The TeXlive system packaged for debian

Adrian von Bidder <avbidder@fortytwo.ch> wrote:

> On Monday 13 June 2005 09.41, frank wrote:
> [texlive vs. teTeX]
>> Let me add some comments from my point of view (Debian teTeX
>> maintainer).
> Sounds like packaging texlive and trying to get it really stable would be 
> the thing to do, with the goal of phasing out teTeX for etch+1
> Not becuase I don't value your work, Frank, but from what you said it sounds 
> like texlive is a better maintained superset of teTeX - or are there 
> reasons why somebody specifically would want to stick to teTeX (assuming a 
> transition plan etc. etc. to solve "all" Debian/packaging specific issues.)

TeX-Live exists for a couple of years now, and while it might gain some
teTeX users, teTeX upstream is by no means dead.  So for these users,
there must be a reason to use teTeX.  I don't know these reasons; but
one might be that with teTeX you get a TeX system that contains all the
essential stuff without much bloat.  You can have the same with
tex-live, by selecting and deselecting the appropriate sub-packages
(binary packages when provided by Debian).  But personally I find it
easier to start with teTeX's choices and add some specific packages from
CTAN if I really need them.

I also wouldn't say that tex-live is better maintained.  It's just the
style that differs: A team effort with a yearly release schedule for
tex-live, the work of one very experienced TeX guru for teTeX (who bases
his decisions more on the development of TeX tools and programs than on
the release schedule of Debian, that's why I made that remark about
"releasing when he thinks it is time").  By the way, Thomas Esser and
the tex-live team work closely together, and for sure he has quite some
influence on them; but as long as he does not stop teTeX, I see no
reason for us to stop it.

One other thing is that texlive's focus is on personal computers -
Windows, Mac, and i386-Linux, while teTeX is a distribution for
UNIX-like operating systems.  I'm not an architecture expert, but I can
imagine that there might be issues in the sources that can be solved in
a satisfying way _either_ for i386-Linux, Mac, and Windows, _or_ for
GNU/Linux, GNU/Hurd, Whatever/Unixoid (all on a variety of different
architectures).  In this case we might be glad to have teTeX packages
for all (released and however-they-are-called) architectures, not just
texlive for a small subset, or alternatively a hell of patches.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Inst. f. Biochemie der Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer

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