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Re: texlive-basic_2005-1_i386.changes REJECTED

Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org> wrote:

> Le mardi 29 novembre 2005 à 22:48 +0100, Norbert Preining a écrit :
>> There is a lot of duplication in Debian, and up to now nobody has
>> complaint. We are working on taking out and packagin *big* stuff (like
>> font packages: lmodern, cm-super) so that they can be used with both
>> teTeX and TeX live. The work on TeX live for Debian has actually led to
>> this and an improved TeX Policy.
> Why do we need two packages containing the "latex" command, for example?

Why do we need N packages that provide MTA functionality?

> When there is duplication, there is generally a reason behind it. We
> have several "ping" packages, but they all have different advantages and
> drawbacks. What does texlive's "latex" command bring that tetex'
> doesn't? And if it brings something, is there any point in using tetex?

Have you actually read the discussion following the ITP that you were
pointed to?  I don't like to repeat all that...

- Both packages have different release cycles; teTeX has been released
  at about the same frequency as Debian, causing it to be outdated by
  one major version in woody and sarge, I don't remember potato.
  TeXLive has a planned release cycle of "once per year", implying that
  chances are much bigger chance to get a recent pdfTeX (the executable
  behind the "latex" command) and LaTeX (the format behind it), along
  with more recent CTAN packages, into a Debian release.

- teTeX, being smaller and less modular, will continue to be the system
  of choice for Build-Depends and for packages that depend on a TeX
  system because they use it for some internal purpose (e.g. creating
  PDF files from database content, from docbook sources,...).  It is
  also better for people who simply want to use LaTeX (or TeX, or
  ConTeXt), but not bother about the newest, coolest CTAN packages.
  TeXLive, on the other hand, would be the system of choice for people
  that want to create (La,Con)TeX documents according to current
  state-of-the-art, and want to communicate and get or give support in
  TeX-related newsgroups and mailinglists (where "do you have the latest
  version installed" is usually one of the first questions).

You can read more arguments in the ITP, see the link given earlier.

>> > How can users know which package to install to get a working TeX system?
>> Yes, a TeX system is *not* for the faint of heart! It is more complex
>> and definitely bigger than anything in Debian. You cannot expect that a
>> complete novice becomes a TeXnician by using the Debian packages. We
>> take from the users the burden to care for formats, font maps and
>> various other things. But flexibility has to be paid by complexity.
>> That's live.
> Bullshit. TeX is not that complicated, and it is used by
> non-specialists. It is much simpler than a C++ development system, for
> example. But when someone installs g++, he gets a working C++ compiler.

So install teTeX.  That's the collection of packages for the people who
want to use TeX as non-specialists, like you do.  TeXLive is for the

This is not just a pet project of Norbert.  For a long time, it has been
a wish of the Debian users among the TeXlive developers and users to be
able to install "their" TeXlive on their Debian system, without keeping
teTeX or fiddle with equivs just to satisfy dependencies.  

I think that it would be to the benefit of our users (one group of them,
actually) to have TeXLive in Debian.  It's for the benefit of an other
group to keep teTeX, and to keep it less modular (but with a better
splitting between -base and -extra, as we currently discuss on

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

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