TDS / Unix CD work

Sebastian Rahtz
Tue, 20 Feb 1996 13:37:21 GMT

 > First question: what about DANTE (and NTG and whatever other group)?
 > No, I'm not a DANTE official, just an ordinary member, but I wonder
 > why you just mention those three groups above.
nothing against Dante at all, but i personally am doing this as part
of my contribution to TUG and UKTUG, and Michel Goossens is working on
it for GUTenberg. so that was where i started.  i have asked Michel
to contact the othe rgroups in due course to ask them if they want to
take part. but its individuals who will do the work

 > Next question: I recently discovered that there exists or existed 
 > a TEX-CD mailing list at, whose mail archives seem
 > to indicate that it was active only briefly from December 93 till
 > March 94, but has been idle ever since the NTG went ahead to produce
 > their 4allTeXCD (which I personally find a very messy) while most 
 > of the Unix people started discussing the TDS and took 1 1/2 years 
 > to finish that.  
ah, history. yes, that list started when NTG (Kees, i think) first
proposed the 4alltex thing. i got involved by saying we should do it
properly, but it got too complicated, so NTG went ahead with the
smaller project. in the meanwhile, as you say, the discussion rolled
off to become the TDS

 > Wouldn't it be a good idea to reactivate that mailing list for your
 > project?  AFAIK, it's open for subscribtion by anyone (I've tried it
i will do, if enough people show an interest, certainly.

 > OK, sound's fine so far.  But might I also suggest using RockRidge
 > Extensions to allow for those files that don't (yet) fit in the 
 > 8+3 name space?  I don't know about the technical impliciations, 
oh, sorry, i didnt make it clear. this *is* a Rock Ridge CD, but the
TDS tree is ISO conformant. so DOS people will see just what Unix
people see, once they go below texmf. what they see in
bin/sparc-solaris2.4, who knows or cares :-}

i made my first test Rock Ridge CD this morning, creating an image on a CD and
then taking it to a PC to write a disk. it worked as i expected, so i am
confident so far
 > > b) get and install a virgin teTeX distribution if you don't have it
 > ... and get more disk space if it's all occupied by texk-pretest...
disk is cheap, so they tell me :-}

 > 1.) Try to preserve the original file dates/modification times as
 >     much as possible, i.e. use cp -p or tar when arranging files 
 >     on the local filesystem.  Likewise, when ftp'ing always get 
 >     the whole directory as tar.gz not individual files, since tar
 >     will preserve the time stamps while ftp doesn't.
yes. submission method is by tar.gz, i agree. 

 > 2.) Add lots of documentation in texmf/doc, at least more than
 >     there is presently in the teTeX distribution.
 >     Some suggestions: the latest UK TUG TeX FAQ, comp.fonts FAQ, 
 >     the TDS draft (so that people can understand why things are
 >     organized as they are), tutorials such as lshort2e/lkurz2e, 
 >     other useful stuff in CTAN:help or CTAN:info ...
yes, any or all of that, sure. i propose to have the TDS printed out
with the CD

 > 3.) Add index.html files to the texmf/doc tree, so that uses can
 >     point their favorite WWW browser to the mounted CD and find
 >     the documentation by a clicking and having the appropriate
 >     viewer (xdvi, ghostview, whatever) invoked automatically, 
 >     no matter what file format.  I suspect that many people tend 
sounds a fine idea. 

 >     to ignore the documentation if it's difficult to find, but
 >     what could be easier than WWW.
i could suggest things

 >     Caveat: Collecting the raw data for index.html files is easy 
 >     using the MakeHTML script in teTeX.  But making these index 
goodness. i never heard of makehtml. ok, sounds good

 >     files pretty by adding the titles and a little description 
 >     can be a lot of work, though.
if there is a master catalog file. oh god, we are talking LSM already

 > > Package: A much larger set of PostScript metrics
 > > Who: SPQR
 > I'm skeptical about that.  Anything that goes beyond the basic
 > 35 and a few free widely-used fonts probably won't do any good
 > for a large pecentage of users that don't have extra font CDs.
lots of people have Lucida

 > Besides, while running from the mounted CD is one goal, I think
 > it should also be easy to copy packages to disk selectively 
 > if one doesn't want to run from CD.  In that case, a huge font 
 > tree might not be what everyone wants, or at least it would
 > make it more difficult to copy some subtrees of the texmf tree.
ah, ok in that case i break it up into pieces. ok, fine.

 > In case of doubt, I'd suggest an emacs/lisp tree at the top level.
 > Still, users running from the CD would have to set their load-path
 > appropriately or copy an edited version of tex-site.el to their 
 > site-lisp directory on disk.  The location of the info files 
 > shouldn't be a problem, though.  Just put them in the teTeX info 
 > directory.
Joachim has said he'll look at this

 > While latex2html might be difficult, I'd suggest to include
 > texi2html, especially since Texinfo is already there in teTeX.  
 > It does require Perl (which we might assume to be available on
 > many Unix platforms), but as far as I know it works just fine 
 > with both Perl4 and Perl5.
given the way teTeX works, this would have to do in every bin
directory, yes?

 > We might also include texi2html-converted versions of Texinfo
 > manuals, i.e. Kpathsea, Dvips, Eplain, AucTeX, TDS, ...
i sense a volunteer...

 > > Package: metapost
 > > Note: needs a source patch, executables, and a diff for texmf.cnf
 > Well, I guess I would be the ideal candidate for that, should 
 > I allow myself to be drawn into it.  However, as I mentioned 
if you dont, i dont think anyone else will

 > That's why I was about to suggest waiting for web2c-7.0 which
 > will have it by default (including several minor impovements).
if web2c 7.0 is finished soon, fine. otherwise wait for a second
edition in the late summer?

 > Is Phil going to suggest e-TeX 1.0 as well?  Bernd already had 
including etex or omega is a *serious* undertaking, as it means
building it for every platform, apart from integration with teTeX's
kpathsea. if someone can do it, great. but its not a sine qua non,

personally i'd prefer Omega, since i dont see any great use for eTeX,
buts thats my personal bias ;-}

 > - filehdr (and checksum)
 >   consist of an elisp package and a small C program
compiled for 15-20 platforms?

 > - psutils: psbook, psselect, psnup, ...
 >   most of them C programs, some might require Perl
ditto, compiled for 15-20 platforms?

 > - cweb (or cwebx), wmerge, tie, other LitProg tools?
too much work in the time available to get this right. lets get
the main TDS tree right first

 > I hope it'll really get done this time and I'm looking forward
 > to the first usable TeX CD that neither suffers from a messy 
 > organization nor from having everything packaged up making
well, i can promise you that. i have it in front of me! i have 200 Mb
of stuff (about 50 is proprietary fonts belonging to Elsevier) on it,
and the only thing lacking is a) more and more packages, b) rewritten
scripts to make sure no-one tries to write on the CD. i propose taking
it home tonight, throwing away my TeX installation, and mounting this
nice gold job...

 > In case of doubt, I'd suggest that less is more, i.e. better
 > concentrate on the well-known standard stuff and have that
 > well organized rather than trying to fill the CD to the max.
i could not agree more.

 > P.S. Last question: Any idea about the price of the CD?  
 > The latest CTAN CD produced by DANTE in cooperation with 
 > Addison-Wesley sells  at DM 50,- with book or DM 10,- 
 > (CD only) for DANTE members.

my contacts suggest i can make copies for around \pounds 5 a disk
if i make 200-300. so i'd expect \pounds10-15 realistically to get 
the package. how many did DANTE make, does anyone know?