TDS / Unix CD work

Sebastian Rahtz
Sat, 17 Feb 1996 12:49:59 GMT

After talking vaguely about this for some time on and off, and being
aware of other similar projects, i have decided to try and go for a
new Unix teTeX CD within the next 3 months regardless. This would be
jointly sold/approved by TUG, UKTUG and GUTenberg, if they formally
agree (I haven't formally asked yet :-}), or by me personally if they

Naturally, i want as much help and advice as i can get on this, so who
better than the veterans of the TDS? Obviously anyone who has worked
on the 4AllTeX CD will have very valuable opinions about what should
be on the wishlist.

The GroundRules
1) the CD has two main objectives:

   a) to provide a ready to run mountable Unix file system 
      for a variety of platforms
   b) to provide an ISO-9660 compliant TDS runtime 
      tree as large as we can make it, with text files in Unix format
      (or LF line separators, not CR/LF)

   if there is space to DOS, MAC, VMS executables, all well and good,
   but that is not the current priority

2) the executables and layout are Thomas Esser's teTeX package, no
   arguing please. this means the CD looks like
    /texmf    TDS tree
      /system   binaries
    /texmf.cnf  runtime configuration file
    /distrib    the archival teTeX distribution
    /src        any other sources provided
    <other>     if someone contributes VMS or something
   if you haven't used teTeX, be aware that its runtime configuration
   *is in relation to the binaries*. there is no default location for
   the package.

   Thomas will provide new Make* scripts to write on writeable media;
   by default this will be the TDS tree under /usr/local/texmf (the only
   decision about real locations that had to be made), but an
   environment variable can relocate this
3) the CD must be ready for sale on May 29th at a GUTenbery meeting
   about TeX distributions

4) the master file system will either be here at Elsevier (i have got
   loan of a few gigabytes to play in) or at SCRI in the TUGboat
   production area. my job is to collate and insert contributions.
5) arguments about TDS layout are referred to the TDS group

6) arguments about executables, layout, compilation, what have you,
   will be referred to Thomas Esser and Karl Berry as arbiters

7) this CD should have a shelf-life of 3-6 months and will be re-issued once 
   web2c 7 is stable

8) There are no remaining preconditions about what goes on the CD. we go
   with what is there now if all else fails

9) no packages "just in case" or "might work" or "here are the sources,
   give it a try". Totally set up or nothing.

What Not to Do
 - Start arguing about the philosophy of the idea
 - Say "why not DOS?" or "Why not Macintosh?"
 - Suggest waiting for web2c 7.0 
 - Suggest different locations for binaries
 - Suggest it have all of CTAN on there
 - Ask about copyright
 - Tell me how to do it, but not do it yourself 

What to Do
a) ask me for the current contents list, and wish list, and decide which
   bit you can provide (i can put these lists on CTAN)

b) get and install a virgin teTeX distribution if you don't have it

c) if its an executable, find someone with clean "reference" machines;
   Michel Goossens and CERN may be able to help a little here

d) make your package, and send me a tar file, with a paragraph saying
   what you did, when, and so on

The Wish List
I'll append my initial wish list. I'll maintain this, and note who is 
doing what (its like a wedding present list....)

Any comments? Suggestions? Feel free to circulate this to anyone you
think would like to join in.


# this is mostly programs so far; i take it for granted that 
# there are millions of LaTeX packages and 
# fonts to do.

Package: A much larger set of PostScript metrics

Package: aucTeX and lacheck
Note: location?

Package: detex

Package: dt2dv and dv2dt
Note: Geoffrey Tobin's package

Package: dvidvi

Package: dviselect, dviconcat
Note: part of SeeTeX

Package: latex2html
Note: a *real* can of worms. i dont even want to think about it

Package: metapost
Note: needs a source patch, executables, and a diff for texmf.cnf

Package: mlTeX
Note: this needs some discussion with Thomas

Package: omega
Note: i have asked John and Yannis

Package: pstricks

Package: t1utils?

Package: xhdvi
Note: maybe not clean, talk to Thomas