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

Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard mpg at elzevir.fr
Thu Jul 22 23:57:20 CEST 2010

Le 22/07/2010 17:55, Philip Taylor (Webmaster, Ret'd) a écrit :
> Robin Fairbairns wrote:
>> what is surely *not* a matter of opinion is
>> that you are rattling on about a matter of no interest to anyone else,
>> in the absence of an offer to code anything.
> If your statement is true, Robin (and I sincerely hope
> that it is not), then that is a sad reflection on the
> TeX Live project.  What Virgil is trying to do is to make
> life simpler for the first-time user of TeX Live

We sure want to make life simpler for newcomers (and intermediate users), and
are interested in suggestions for doing so. As I stated earlier, we did put this
item on our list for further rumination (which doesn't mean we will change
something in the default setup, maybe we won't, that's all the point of
ruminating: we don't know in advance).

What we are surely *not* interested in is reading repeatedly the same kind of
arguments from Virgil while we are now perfectly aware of the problem but made
it clear we will not be acting upon it soon.

> : we both
> know that learning TeX itself is non-trivial, so to expect
> a first-time user of TeX Live to also familiarise himself
> with the requirements of the TeX Directory Structure is
> (IMHO) not very realistic.

I don't know if I was a typical user at that point, but when I first tried to
install something in my TEXMFHOME, I remember doing at least two mistakes: not
running mktexlsr, and not creating a tex subdirectory (so, believe me, I
understand Virgil's request quite well). I then "understood" that I needed to
put the files in tex/latex (for some reason I thought the latex subdir was
mandatory too) and went that way for quite some time. I discovered the concept
of TDS much later.

> It is not at all clear to me why the received opinion
> is that this would cause a massive performance hit.
> Virgil is not (as far as I can tell) suggesting that TeX
> should search the entire TEXMFHOME tree before looking elsewhere --

I think the opinions about massive performance hit was based on the misleaded
assumption that the entire TEXMFHOME tree would be recursively searched. But
there are other potential problems with looking at the root of TEXMFHOME, like
possible mess (at the root and/or with duplicated files in the tree and at the
root), inconsistency with other trees (why not do the same for TEXMFLOCAL), etc.

Anyway, as far as I am concerned, now is not the time to discuss this (and the
current thread didn't evolve as an appropriate place for calm technical
discussion), so the discussion is (temporarily) over for me.


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