[tex-live] TL13 status

Nicolas Richard theonewiththeevillook at yahoo.fr
Wed Apr 10 12:09:43 CEST 2013

Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk> writes:

> If it takes six months to fix all the bugs, then yes; but
> my assumption was that the pre-DVD freeze would start (say)
> one month before intended production, and that month would
> be used for bug fixing.  If less time is needed, great; and

Much has been said already, so I'll try to keep it short.

The design of TeX as a pure macro language is such that one part of the
code can break any document badly very easily. The job of maintaining a
"bugfix" branch and a "next" branch is IMO harder than for other

Now who could do that ? Either the package author/maintainer (TL
maintainers could grab the next branch when not frozen, and only bugfix
releases while frozen) or somebody doing it for TL (backport bugfixes
from new releases to a TL-specific bugfix branch). The first option is
the most realistic one given the current situation, and yet it is in
fact *not* realistic as some package authors mentionned on the thread.

Why ? I think the low benefit/work ratio is the most important factor,
but another factor is the fact that the design of CTAN is such that
there is exactly one "current" version of a given package at a time. Now
that could very well be an area of improvement: CTAN could (but that
still requires work) split each package in a "stable/bugfix" and a
"next" release, from which distros could grab whichever they like, and
to which package authors/maintainers could push whatever they think
fits. That certainly would not fix it all, but might be a start (and I
think it is a realistic one).

Ok this has already gone too long for a short mail, especially since I'm
not at all involved in CTAN or in TL. Please comment as you see fit, if
at all.


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