[tex-live] $TEXMFHOME not working right

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Tue May 18 14:06:06 CEST 2010

On Mon, May 17, 2010 at 7:45 PM, Joel C. Salomon <joelcsalomon at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 05/17/2010 04:48 AM, Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard wrote:
>> Le 17/05/2010 02:27, Reinhard Kotucha a écrit :
>>> Yeah, let's add TEXMFHOME to TEXMFDBS again.  This solves many
>>> problems.
>> It would re-introduce other problems. You probably think the problems it would
>> solve are greater than the problems it would introduce, apparently we don't
>> weight problems the same way.
> <snip>
>> I see no urging reason to change (or even discuss about changing) a setting that
>> has been there for 3 years without creating numerous complains, right now.
> As the OP on this thread, may I weigh in with my $0.02?
> I’d like a choice.  If I often add or change things in TEXMFHOME, having
> to recreate ls-R every time becomes a pain.  If my home directory is
> across the network, having ls-R becomes a tremendous time-saver.  So…
> just tell me that.
> On my home system, I’ll very gladly do without ls-R in TEXMFHOME.  On my
> portable flash drive installation, and when I administer a network, I
> now know to add TEXMFHOME to TEXMFDBS.  As for what the default should
> be, perhaps “all true believers shall break their eggs at the convenient
> end”.

This just confirms that there are some things (other than papersize!) were any
choice of a "default" configuration will create problems for some users (or the
local "guru" who gets the complaints about TeX being slow for users with NFS
home directories or printers rejecting jobs for requesting a paper size not
found in any tray).

TL is  a large, complex system with very diverse users, so users need to
understand that some effort is often needed to tweak their configuration.
A few of the choices (paper size, symbolic links in /usr/bin) are so important
that they get special mention in the installation tool.   It might be
helpful to
have a short document on "commonly applied tweaks" (CAT) that can be done
without removing and installing the whole system (as if it was a
Windows package):

1.  conflicts with default output settings

    -- papersize settings other than the system default for one
document or project or user

    -- switching between CM and LM fonts

2.  performance tweaks:

    -- settings for NFS mounted home directories or large TEXMFHOME trees

3.  coexisting with package managers in linux

   -- dummy packages

4.  reversing install-time choices

  -- removing symbolic links: how to ensure that 3rd party tools can
     still find the programs

  -- changing ownership

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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