Texlive old install support

Joseph Wright joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk
Tue Apr 14 12:22:29 CEST 2020

On 14/04/2020 01:45, Warren MacEvoy wrote:
> I am trying to maintain a docker container (like a small virtual machine with specific software0 so TexLive users can make a specific container that reliably and efficiently can be used to make their latex documents.
> A real problem is that each year I have to move to the latest tex live distribution; which inevitably breaks the building of documents based on older packages.
> Philosophically, this is a serious problem.  There are many old documents which will require expert intervention to create if the build tools move this much every year, and the old tools do not work.
> I tried downloading an archive build and got a failed installation on a checksum.
> Reliably building old documents should be a priority for the texlive system.  Otherwise a love of creative intellectual property will become unstable.
> Can there be a long term maintenance policy for some versions of texlive?  Leaving an archive to 3rd parties does not seem reasonable, especially if those builds just fail after one year…
> Thanks,
> Warren MacEvoy

If you want to use a TeX Live version longer-term, what's the issue with 
installing the historic ones from ISO? The TeX Live people mainly just 
install other people's (La)TeX packages: actual binary changes are a 
small part of the total work done.

I have TeX Live from 2009 onward installed on my own PC, which with 
today's disk sizes is quite achievable: I'm not sure there is an big 
issue there. (People like AMS who need absolute stability archive every 
part of the build setup with every file, but that's an extreme approach.)


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