nov 15 tds...

Mon, 20 Nov 1995 12:46:41 MST

RE: TDS dated Nov. 15, 1995

Howdy All,

A few last comments as relates to your final structure.
1) All my previous comments still apply.
2) Your implementation supports the fragmentation of applications
as you have already mentioned in C.1 as regards to Macros, but
also it applies across the board. In addition, again as you have
already mentioned, there is no provision for versions of a
package. The net result is nightmare for support personnel. If I
get an upgrade to a package I must ferret out all the pieces of
the existing package and delete them, and then install the new
version. I can no longer install the new version in parallel,
make sure it is working, and then make it available to the users.
Installs now become a real-time "hot" issue. Most TeX
installations require quite a bit of tweaking, so in the long run
the software managers will always look like incompetent fools
since each upgrade will result in much user dismay while the
package is forced into submission. 

I suggest the following:
1) Try to get anyone who is writing to the new TDS to provide a
"remove" script for each platform on which the package can exist.
This in combination with an "install" script that assumes the TDS
will at least make the managers life a bit simpler. This does not
address the tweaking issue, but such is life.
2) Make the scripts editable since there may always be some level
of variety in individual installation tree structures. That way
if one wishes to continue using TeX as the root and INPUTS for
inputs, they can make mods to the script to make it work. These
should be variables at the beginning of each script or a separate
script that creates environment variables.

Alan Dunwell
JILA Software Manager

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