[tex-k] kpathsearch and Octave

Karl Berry karl@freefriends.org
Fri, 25 Oct 2002 17:00:43 -0400

    It would be nice to extract the basic path searching stuff into a
    base library with a nice clean interface that could be used by lots
    of different projects

This sounds great in theory and was what I started out to do when I
wrote kpathsea.  The problem that arose in practice was the number of
features needed for texmf that would never ever arise for any other
program; disentangling them in the source proved very difficult.  I did
my best to keep the generic source files separate texmf-specific ones
but there was some inevitable (as far as I could see) leakage.

After I realized this, I pretty much gave up on the idea of a separate
kpathsea distribution.  I completely agree with Olaf that if such a
thing is done, the interface and the header files would need a lot of
attention.  Right now all the configuration stuff has to get installed.
It would probably be best to use libtool, and start by looking at some
other successful library -- perhaps what gettext does.  Unfortunately
good library installation in general remains very much a thorn in the
side of programmers and sysadmins ...

Good luck :).