[tex-k] crippled TeX package

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Tue Jul 21 09:36:43 CEST 2009

Andrew Komornicki <komornic at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

[rearranged to move andrew's bottom post to the top]
> At 05:19 PM 7/19/2009, Karl Berry wrote:
> >Sorry, what FC10 does is not up to us.  You'll have to ask them.
> >Every distro likes to mess around with TeX in their own way.

there's no denying that.  it's what they omit that bothers me (none of
the executables afaik -- i'm talking about packages).

> >As you may know, TeX Live does include initex, but the fmtutil.cnf we
> >use does not call initex, it ends up running "tex -ini" or "pdftex -ini"
> >or whatever.
> >
> >I'll check what happens when our fmtutil is called on a nonexistent
> >engine.  But I doubt Fedora is using an unmodified fmtutil anyway.

what karl doesn't explicitly say is that *no-one* in the free software
world produces a separate initex executable any more.  its place has
been taken by "[pdf]tex -ini"; this was the case from the tetex 3
distribution (fwiw, i compiled my archive copy in 2005, so it's hardly
recent news).

i'll put an answer in the faq, some time, about initex..  (there's a
section for it -- talks about things like the am fonts -- "things have
gone away" or near)

[note, i've no idea what the paid-for tex systems do in this regard:
i have none such, so can't hope even to speak about them -- look at the
faq entries about commercial systems; they're all commercial text with
the hype extracted as far as i can manage.]

> this is regarding the recent post by Pierre. 
> I have just checked several of my systems. 
> Several months ago, I installed TeXlive2008 on a new laptop that runs 
> Windows XP.  while the installation went quite well, and I am happy with 
> all of the features, there is NO initex installed that I can find. 
> This is TeXlive2008. 

indeed.  as one would expect.

> More recently, I installed Fedora Linux on an older machine. The installation 
> indicates that this is TeXlive2007.  From what I can tell both Fedora 9 and 
> Fedora 10 provide TexLive2007.  Again all inquiries show that there is NO 
> initex available. 


> This was installed from the installation RPM's that Fedora provides.  I was 
> also surprised to find that while the Windows TeXlive did provide a tlmgr 
> utility (rather useful) the Fedora distribution did not have such a utility. 
> All that I could find was the old utilities that are from the Thomas Esser 
> teTeX distributions. (thank you Thomas !!) 

interesting to know which tetex utilities you need that aren't available
in a the fedora tl 2007 distribution (i use that, too, and have no problems).

> This is just my 2cents worth.  I still have an installation 
> (thank you Fabrice) circa 1999-2000.  
> This one does have initex (on Windows ) 

but if you install miktex or tl-for-windows (the successor to fptex)
you'll find that tex -ini works, and everything else is more slick.
(note, i've never tried tl-for-windows.)


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