[tex-live] TL'10 pretest trial

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Mon Jul 5 02:53:24 CEST 2010

On 4 July 2010 Philip TAYLOR (Webmaster, Ret'd) wrote:

 > 5) It is extremely annoying that the installer insists on
 > re-writing backslashes as forward slashes.  Backslashes
 > are the norm in Windows, and if one wants to copy
 > and paste a proposed location, this simply will not work
 > once the slashes have been reversed.  Why can they not
 > be left in the default orientation for the platform, and/or
 > as typed/inserted by the user ?

Be happy that the TeX Live installer supports Windows at all.  This is
how it all started:

Norbert wrote some Perl modules for managing packages.  In order to
make use of Norbert's modules, we needed a new installer.  Norbert
said that he is not familiar enough with shell programming in order to
make his modules available to the teTeX installer.  I proposed that a
new installer had to be written in Perl because otherwise we can't
support Windows.  Then Pawel Jackowski, who was involved in
development of the Windows installer, said "please proceed".  I still
don't know what the phrase "please proceed" meant, but I suppose that
it was meant as "good luck" when I said that a new installer should
work on all platforms, including Windows.

It turned out that it's pretty easy to write an installer which works
on every platform, ..... except Windows.

Windows is a pain.  Nothing works as expected.  Bugs are not
documented.  Nothing is documented.  If you are interested in the
details, I could forward you abt. 5500 mails from the TL developers
list immediately.

I consider to write a book about Windows when I'm retired and have
nothing better to do.  The title of the book will be "Broken by Design".

Coming back to your question:

The MS-DOG API supported forward slashes and backslashes from the
beginning.  So, what is so wrong with forward slashes.

I fear that your next complaint is that on Windows options start with
a slash instead of a hyphen.  And later you might ask us to support
something like 




Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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