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Re: Do teTeX packages work well?

> >  Has anyone else tried NTeX at all?  I have that installed here; I
> > chose it because it comes with more documentation than teTeX did.  The 
> > installer is Debian compatible; it even provides the right packages
> > for things that depend on them.
> AFAIR Debian came with NTeX before.  I seem to remember that there
> were several problems with it.

To my knowledge NTeX has never been a part of Debian.  I have used NTeX
for some time now and have had very little in the way of problems.  The
main difficulty is that it is not a debian package.  True, you can install
it in /usr/local (which I currently do) but having a debian package is
much nicer which is why I am considering moving to teTeX. 

> Anyway there should be sufficient documentation about LaTeX across
> the net.  I just re-read the german lkurz alias LaTeX2e-Kurzbeschreibung.
> I'm sure that a similiar english document does exist, too.

But it is a pain to have to search the net for documentation and less
common latex styles, fonts etc.  It is nice to have everything in the
one distribution.

Why don't we reorganize TeX for debian as follows: get rid of unneccessary
older TeX packages (which I understand are buggy) and replace them with
teTeX.  That is, we use teTeX as the basis for debian TeX stuff.  Then we
could "value add" to teTeX by packaging stuff that it misses - eg all
the stuff that NTeX has that teTeX doesn't.

The other thing is, (and I haven't tried installing teTeX.deb yet so I
don't know), is there much flexibility with what you do and don't install
with teTeX?  Does the debian packaging of teTeX allow you flexibility, or
is it a case of all or nothing?

How easy was it to package teTeX for debian?  I presume teTeX has its own
packaging system?  Was it easy to convert from the teTeX system to the
debian system?  If it was difficult, would it be better for Debian to
concentrate more effort on getting a native TeX distribution to be
bug free?

I think it is in Debian's interest to think carefully about how to get
the best possible TeX distribution.  I think for a lot of people, having
a great TeX distribution would be a major selling point for the
distribution.  At the moment, Debian's TeX direction seems a little

Mark Phillips                                      mark@maths.flinders.edu.au
           "They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them!"

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