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Bug#441595: [Dev-luatex] (fwd) Bug#441595: not all libraries are customized, there is room for improvement

Norbert Preining wrote:
Dear Taco,

one of the lua Gurus here at Debian checked the embedded libs and found
that most of the included libs are very similar to upstream, and he
offered to push the few changes in your code to upstream.

What do you say? (See attached email, including the diffs between current
upstream of the lua libs and code in texlua).

TeX has alwaye been independent of external libraries, although for pdftex it's possible to keep some libs external. Although the 'teams' assume statics, its' up to the distributers to decide on external libs; kpse has been an example for a long time already but that one lives alongside tex.

For luatex it's somewhat different. Take for instance a moving target like lpeg. Macro packages depend on the functionality as defined when the luatex version came around. If some (maybe more recent) library is used it might break things. And it might even be that at some point when we have luatex version 1.0, we freeze on libraries (apart from bug fixes of course). The same might happen with lua itself. If lua 6 comes around we might add an extra lua engine but keep 5 around as well.

Loading libraries in luatex can become a nightmare esp when we thing of mixes with luarocks and other distributions. As lua is meant for embedding, the libs we use are also kind of internal.

Of course, pushing changes/patches upstream is great.

This is a tricky issue. In principle luatex, once stable, should run decades as-is. An independent entity. On th eother hand, progress is also a nice thing.

I can imagine a scenario where we have a static luatex as usual, but when distributers want to go dynamic they should use the (in terms of api) same libs as static. None of us is looking forward to getting bug reports like "luatex+macropackage reports an lpeg error" which only happens with non statics bins.

Also, i wonder, if luatex demands some specific lib version, how does this translate to installation? Currently i can just drop a static luatex bin in my tex bin path but what if a bunch of extra libs (maybe already present but potentially conflicting) are used? Ok, we can control things with the cpath variable, but that also adds another variable to the game.

Anyhow, this needs quite a bit of thinking.


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