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

Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard mpg at elzevir.fr
Wed Jul 21 15:46:02 CEST 2010

Le 21/07/2010 15:19, hometreetexlive.9.virgilinux at dfgh.net a écrit :
> Well, just following Akira's suggestion I achieved the exact functionality
> that is being proposed with one single line of "code"
> (export TEXINPUTS=/home/rodxxx/texmf: )
> With that LaTeX looks for a class first at the top of /home/rodxxx/texmf then
> in the subdirectory /home/rodxxx/texmf/tex/ which exactly what is being
> proposed as default behavior (with the obvious benefit that if the user does
> not put the class/style file in a subdirectory it would still be found).
Btw, maybe it would be better the other way round: looking first at the
"regular" location, then at the root of the tree:

export TEXINPUTS=:/home/rodxxx/texmf

> I myself cannot notice any performance difference while doing simple tests of
> this action. Then again, if I had a million items at the top of the home tree
> then there may be a performance hit... but I cannot imagine a reasonable set
> of circumstances leading to any user having a huge number of items in the
> HOME tree...

Trust me (and Karl, and others), some users *do* have a huge number of files in
TEXMFHOME. (I, for example, used to have a rather large TEXMFHOME on my
university account some time ago: the admin didn't want to update TeX Live there.)

> In any case, I continue to be puzzle by the fact that today LaTeX seems to
> always look (by the fault) in the user work directory (which could
> conceivably be a huge mess with all sort of files in it) and no one seems
> bothered by it,

LaTeX writes down some information in an auxiliary file foo.aux when compiling
foo.tex, obviously in the current directory, then reads this file again to get
the information back. So the current directory *has* to be searched unless you
want to break LaTeX and probably dozens of packages using similar mechanisms.

> yet somehow we are expected to accept that if LaTeX treat the
> top of the home tree in the exact same way it treats the work directory today
> some major problems would arise. If this was true, it would be highly
> counter-intuitive.
Reality is sometimes counter-intuitive, at least if your intuition is not
regularly fed with a lot of surprising examples of how people use TeX.

Also, please understand that we are currently concentrating on preparing a
release, so this is not exactly the best moment to discuss such big changes
(which, as Karl said, require careful thought). But be assured that we won't
forget to discuss it for a future release.


More information about the tex-live mailing list