[twg-tds] scripts, enc/lig/map

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Fri Feb 20 00:49:07 CET 2004

>>>>> "Hans" == Hans Hagen <pragma at wxs.nl> writes:

    >    /scripts/context/perl/texexec.pl

Maybe we end up in in a texmf/scripts tree which contains more
directories than regular files.  Under the assumption that there
should never be two files with the same name in texmf, the directories
context and perl are not needed.  Subdirectories are useful if there
are many files.

This does not mean that I want to disallow subdirectories.  But I do
not expect that the tree will be so large in the near future that kpse
can't just search it recursively.

Each file in texmf/scripts should have a filename extension that
indicates in which language it is written.  This is useful if, for
instance, someone ports texexec to Java or so.  The wrapper for one
platform can then use the Perl script, a wrapper for an other platform
could use the Java program.

Why do we need texmf/scripts at all?

There are several reasons:

 1. Maintenance:  if someone sends a patch, it is desirable to be
    able to apply it once rather than walk through the directories and
    overlook most of them.

 2. A modified script can be put into texmf-local or

 3. The way how a script is launched is system dependent even if the
    script itself is not.  UNIX systems understand the comment
    "#!/usr/bin/perl", others require to call perl with the name of
    the script as an argument.

    >> What about platform-dependent executable files (of an auxiliary
    >> nature)?

    > maybe

    >    /scripts/{,$PLATFORM}/....

So the texmf tree is not platform independent anymore.  Ideally texmf
trees from different distributions can be exchanged.  It would be a
great advantage if I could install texmf trees from different
distributions and can switch between them by setting an environment

It is very unlikely that I find somthing system dependent in MikTeX's
texmf tree that works on my system.  It would be much better if the
texmf tree remains platform independent.

And if Fabrice compiles texexec into a binary, I don't see any reason
_not_ to put this at bin/Win32/texexec.exe.  IMHO this is the correct

Maybe texexec is not the best example.

Paul, if you talk about

    >  files (of an auxiliary nature)

you certainly have something different in mind.  Probably something
like Emacs' libexec directory which contains progs which are run by
emacs but are never launched by a user directly.

If kpse can find out where an executable resides, it should be able to
to find a subdirectory there, for instance


which is $SELFAUTOLOC/libexec.

A reason not to have a program which is always called by an other
program in $PATH is to avoid name clashes with other programs on a
particular system.  I don't see another good reason.

Another problem:  What should $PLATFORM expand to under Linux?  Do I
have to set an environment variable?  I can't say


in texmf.cnf in a multi platform environment.

For bin/<PLATFORM> the value is determined by the configure script and
I *have* to set an environment variable manually.

And if there is really platform dependent stuff like machine language
progs it is probably not sufficient to call it "Linux", maybe you have
to call it "i368-linux-glibc2.2".

As I said before, beeing able to switch between texmf trees from
different distributions is very interesting.  The more I think about
it the more I like it.

The latest teTeX beta puts all the system independent files to
texmf-dist.  Files generated by texconfig go to texmf.

Thomas, shouldn't texmf-dist better be called texmf-tetex?

With some modifications in texmf.cnf one could launch tex like

TEXMFSYS=texmf-texlive tex myfile

or even

TEXMFSYS=texlive tex myfile

Thomas, what do you think?  TEXMFDIST would be a better name for this
env var, but unfortunately it's already in use.

>>>>> "Paul" == Paul Vojta <vojta at Math.Berkeley.EDU> writes:

    > I'd also like to have this directory optional, at the discretion
    > of the distribution maintainer.

If the result of the discussion will be that texmf/scripts is useful
then I don't think that it should be optional.

If people understand what it is good for, they will use it.  If not,
empty directories can be omitted anyway.


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-4592165
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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