[tex-live] sphack.sty gone?

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Sun Dec 19 17:29:57 CET 2010

Philipp Stephani <st_philipp at yahoo.de> wrote:

> Am 19.12.2010 um 02:22 schrieb Juan Acevedo:
> > I just wondered if I had missed news relating this deletion. For
> > future releases of TL, what is the document I should check in case a
> > package I use has been removed? 

additions and removals appear pretty much every day, without any
announcement.  additions are (almost always) related to a new free
package appearing on ctan -- the ctan-ann mailing list carries notices
about such things.

> I've never heard of such a document (but I'm not a member of the TeX
> Live team). For the sphack package, there was the additional
> complication that the style file was moved from the ltxmisc package to
> its own CTAN package. The CTAN team presumably re-checked the license
> during this process. Similar license checks might happen to many of
> the older packages that where created without the use of Docstrip and
> not thoroughly classified when they appeared on CTAN. 

the classification is patchy.  i've done enormous numbers of them, and
often when i have a need to look at the package again, i come to a
different conclusion.  it's not an exact science, and in any case, the
rules are changing.

one particular bugbear is the package that contains no statement of its
licence.  the upload says "lppl" (or something) and at that time we're
left wondering whether that was a random stab of the mouse, or whether
the author had positive intent.  (in either case, a later review of the
package won't find any licence statement, so the package is re-
catalogued nonfree at that point.)

but there is, as philipp says, no published document saying what's
available, other than texlive.tlpdb, which lists everything in texlive.
one could in principle derive the information from successive releases
of that, but afaik nobody does.

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