[tex-live] TL13 status

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Wed Apr 10 01:05:56 CEST 2013

On 2013-04-09 at 21:17:22 +0100, Philip TAYLOR wrote:
 > David Carlisle wrote:
 > > Sorry Phil, but the idea of a freeze for package maintenance is a
 > > non-starter.
 > > Package maintainers are almost all volunteers who work when they
 > > have time or when user requests build up so much they find time
 > > or whatever.
 > > 
 > > They are almost all divorced from the TL release schedule. They
 > > can't be asked to not make updates because TL is nearing release,
 > > would you ask them also to not make any updates near a miktex
 > > release or one of the linux distros or... When _would_ you let
 > > them make changes?
 > Point taken, but I am not suggesting that they should /cease/
 > development; rather, that in parallel with development (which
 > can go to CTAN as and when), they should, for the period leading
 > up to a DVD burn, focus on fixing any reported bugs that would
 > require the DVD to need a network update shortly after installation.

Phil,  you can be assured that many package maintainers do exactly
this already.  They probably don't have the DVD in mind in the first
place, but Linux distributions, which also rely on TL releases.

If you are concerned about *reported* bugs, use the latest version of
TeX Live and update regularly.  You'll see that reported bugs are
fixed almost immediately (often within 24 hrs or less), it may take up
to two days until the fixed package is available from all mirrors.

In the meantime you can revert to an older release.  TeX Live keeps a
backup of the previous release of each package by default.  You can
even increase the number of backups to be kept.

I'm maintaining a TeX Live system at work and the company heavily
relies on it.  But I would never use an older release of TeX Live
because I know that older releases contain more bugs than newer ones.
And if I encounter a bug myself, I can ask the author.  But nobody
fixes bugs in older releases.  That would mean to maintain two
different files with the same version number.

Since TeX Live 2012 (the updater) is frozen now, I'm convinced that
package maintainers concentrate on reliability now.  As I said in a
previous mail, packages sent to CTAN will still go into TeX Live for a
while.  If you consider how fast package maintainers fix reported
bugs, I think that the current mechanism is sufficient.

Phil, I have the impression that you feel safer with an older version
of TeX Live because you never tried a recent one.  Many of your
suggestions are supported by tlmgr already.  I feel much safer with a
current release.


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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