[tex-live] textlive seems to ignore top of home tree

hometreetexlive.9.virgilinux at dfgh.net hometreetexlive.9.virgilinux at dfgh.net
Tue Jul 20 16:18:46 CEST 2010

--- On Mon, 7/19/10, Akira Kakuto - kakuto at fuk.kindai.ac.jp wrote:
> > I would strongly advocate that
> the system default behaviour (subject to overruling by the
> administrator) should be that it finds by default either 
> > TEXMFHOME/tex/myclass.cls OR 
> > TEXMFHOME/myclass.cls
> We can use TEXMFHOME for various kinds of files, fontmap
> files, font
> encoding files, TeX macros, configuration files, ...
> I strongly recommend to follow the TDS:
> Please put LaTeX macros under $TEXMFHOME/tex/latex, and
> don't use the top directory for them.

Hi, Akira:
Apparently I didn't explain myself well in my previous email. Let me try again.

I already know that the subdirectory structure of TEXMFHOME has shifted from a recommendation, to a requirement. Therefore, I have *already* moved the ONE (1) class file that I have in TEXMFHOME -- which I had naively placed in TEXMFHOME -- to TEXMFHOME/tex/ (this class is also in our distribution tree, but I had to made some relatively minor changes to the distribution version in order to accomplish certain objectives).

While it seems unnecessary to have a subdirectory structure for a directory that only contains ONE (1) file in total, for those like me who already know of this requirement, placing a class in a subdirectory as opposed to the top of the directory is not a big deal.

I have also followed your kind suggestion of setting the environment variable TEXINPUTS=TEXMFHOME.  Even though I already know that the subdirectory structure of TEXMFHOME is a requirement, I prefer that the system searches for classes at the top of TEXMFHOME in case I eventually forget about the subdirectory requirement-- which is exactly what the system do with the directory where the source latex file is located.

So, from a selfish viewpoint, I am covered.

Now, considering that every day new people come into LaTeX, and that placing a class file at the top of TEXMFHOME has been recognised (even in this very thread) as a common mistake, one has to consider the possibility that other people will make the same mistake (as egregious as it may be). And these people may waste valuable time searching for a "solution" to their "problem" : LaTeX will not find the file placed at the root of TEXMFHOME. What to do about it?  

Those in a position of power can do one of two things:
1) Nothing... afterall it is those users fault that they don't know that a TEXMFHOME subdirectory structure (even if only for one (1) file) is required... Even if those users jointly waste lot of valuable time because of this... so what... it is their fault anyway. Sooner or later they'll figure it out, and they would have learned their lesson. 

2) While the above approach is appealing, a radically different approach is also possible... Even though it is technically the users fault not knowing about the required subdirectory structure, the powerful people could still try to save thosese users valuable time... after all, their wasted time does constitute a "social cost", and if one can prevent such waste by doing a minor thing that won't bother anyone, why not?

Those who believe that option 2 is reasonable and actually socially superior to (1) can opt to configure the system so that BY DEFAULT it searches BOTH the top of TEXMFHOME and the appropriate subdirectory (administrators that don't like it may still re-configure their systems as they see fit).  This way, those who have all their subdirectories will see no significant loss, but the poor souls that for some reason have no subdirectories won't have to waste valuable time searching in vain for a solution to a problem that does not exist.





More information about the tex-live mailing list