Ken Moffat ken at linuxfromscratch.org
Sat Oct 30 19:24:12 PDT 2010

 I'll be honest - TeX isn't something I use, but several of the
packages I'm about to update use it.  I've seen the ticket for Tex
 Live (#2480), and the size of it scared me to death (I have a
*small* '/' on my systems.  So, first off I installed the binary
version of Tex Live in ~/.  Yeah, this makes me feel so dirty, and
scared about what vulnerabilities I might be opening myself up to.
Fortunately, it isn't normally in $PATH.  Reminded me how crap
installers are at estimating time-to-go.

 That was enough to work through the current packages.  I also noted
that TeX Live no longer provides texi2html (this was a default
"everything" install, because I had zero idea what to include or
omit) - current version (5.0) is at gnu - it's a perl package.

 So, I thought about mentioning in teTeX that the package has been
abandonned, and does not build on recent toolchains, and people
should look at the ticket for Tex Live.

 But then, I figured that *until someone cares enough to get TeX
Live into the book* the breakage should be fixable (google can find
the problem in the -support archives, we had to do seds for other
packages in LFS/clfs when this first happened).  Looking around,
PLD have a patch to fix this.  No doubt people like Andy will say it
can be done with a sed, but frankly the patch seems to work and I
see no benefit in wasting time developing a sed.

 With the patch, I can build and install teTeX-3.0 (minimal version,
in /usr/local, with extra configure switches taken from PLD to remove
static libs and use other system libs).  I can do a functional test
based on the command recommended by Tex Live:
 latex small2e && dvipdf small2e
(then open small2e.pdf in evince or epdfview or whatever, and rm

 What I can't do is 'make check' :
! You are attempting to make a LaTeX format from a source file
! That is more than five years old.
! If you enter <return> to scroll past this message then the format
! will be built, but please consider obtaining newer source files
! before continuing to build LaTeX.

 If I enter <return> immediately after the command, or try
'yes | make check' it makes no difference, it still dies here.

 So, since I'm now working on packages that have references to this
behemoth, I want to do something.  Until such time as *someone* is
prepared to put in TeX Live (my current, and intended, tickets
preclude me touching this for the moment) I can see two options -

1. change teTeX to apply the patch, not run 'make check', and add
general warnings that it is dead and link to the Tex Live ticket,
plus the brief "seems to work" functional test.

2. point people to the Tex Live ticket and note that the package is
defunct and does not build.

 What *scares* me on this is that I don't understand this package,
it's for people with bigger brains than I have.  The danger is that
it might include vulnerabilities.  The PLD cvs repo has a load of
other patches for it, and I don't understand any of them.  I do note
that they *still* have this in their repo, apparently, and that they
don't run 'make check'.

 If it wasn't for that concern about vulnerabilities, I'd have no
worries about changing the book to use the patch.  But with this
doubt, I'm open to alternative views.

 Alternatively, perhaps we should just pull TeX out of the book, and
replace the xrefs with ulinks to TeX Live ?  That was intended as a
joke, but if nobody cares enough then it *ought* to go.

das eine Mal als Tragödie, das andere Mal als Farce

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