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[Fedora-packaging] Texlive packaging and "Errata packages"



Hi,

Jindrich Novy has been preparing texlive packages for F8 for a while
now, and there are essentially 3 RPMs:

telive (the binaries)
texlive-texmf (the texmf tree)
and texlive-texmf-errata

The one I am concerned about is telive-texmf-errata. As Jindrich says
"This is the errata package for the TeXLive 2007 formatting system.
The purpose of this package is to support updates to huge texmf tree
without a need to download all the texmf tree again, but to ship only
the fixed parts. texlive-errata puts updated files into a seperate
texmf tree which is searched prior to the main tree so there are no
conflicts between texlive-errata and texlive-texmf packages."

I think this is a totally different packaging paradigm - as far as I'm
aware there's no precedent in Fedora for issuing errata packages
rather than updated packages. A far better alternative IMO is to have
finer grained subpackaging of the texlive texmf tree, such that
updates don't replace the whole thing. That of course has other major
advantages, such as allowing smaller tex installs.

Also, to have *two* system managed texmf trees searched is a big
change, and something else that system admins have to think about when
they add their own local texmf trees.

Put more bluntly, while I understand the convenience from a packagers
point of view, this seems like a really ugly way to package. It feels
a bit like the ever increasing number of hotfixes you get installed on
an M$ system (although there would never be more than a single
texmf-errata package installed at a time of course).

I know Rex Dieter likes the errata package idea. I wonder what others think?

Cheers,
Jonathan


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