[tex-k] Twiki is broken; sorry . . . let's use tex-k list if that's okay.

Karl Berry karl@freefriends.org
Tue, 6 Nov 2001 09:34:49 -0500

    I  think that there is  a better  solution which  is  based on a small
    kpathsea package where these drivers could be based on. 

This would be ideal.  Unfortunately, when I was creating/maintaining
kpathsea and its predecessor code, I found that the problem with
creating such a thing was the Makefiles and build process.  Kpathsea
needs to make so many assumptions in order to build properly on all the
systems out there, any drivers or whatever else that uses it ends
up having to use the same build process, in practice.  Everything has to
agree on the preprocessor symbols to use ...

>From the users' point of view, they just want to download something that
works.  Most people get texlive or tetex, but wanting to download a new
dvips or xdvi between tetex/texlive is not unreasononable or uncommon.
And expecting a dvips-only source tree to build against an
already-installed kpathsea ... Well, it would be ideal, but I think it
would be a lot of time, which in practice driver maintainers want to
spend on improving the driver, not messing with build junk.

My suggestion would be that driver maintainers incorporate the kpathsea
source in their distributions in whatever way they want.  That way, each
maintainer can make their own decision about how to handle their
sources, etc.  They can hack kpathsea if they need to to make their
release (and feed the changes back to Olaf :).  Driver maintainers
pretty much have to go along with kpathsea's build rules, but hopefully
that's not an undue burden at this point.  If it is, well, that's where
driverk distributions came in ...

Hoping for a Grand Agreement where everyone uses the same source
hierarchy (p4, sourceforge, savannah, cvs, whatever) seems unduly
idealistic to me.  Variety is the spice of life.

For what it's worth ...

Best to everyone,

P.S. I don't see any particular reason for the texk distribution to
exist any more.  I created it before tetex and texlive existed to fill a
gap at the time.  I can't imagine what user community would want to
install texk now in preference to the latter two, which are far more