[tex-live] clash on $HOME/.texmf-var/web2c between TL2005 and other packages

George White aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Mon Aug 8 13:13:46 CEST 2005

Quoting Frank Küster <frank at kuesterei.ch>:

> Norbert Preining <preining at logic.at> wrote:
> > On Son, 07 Aug 2005, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> >> >create generated formats in $HOME/.texmf-var/web2c, so when the .pool
> files
> >> >differ you get errors when switching between packages.  I'm used to
> switching
> >> >between TeX packages pretty dynamically using environment modules to
> manage the
> >> >PATH setting.  The simple fix is to change texmf.cnf to use something
> like
> >> >$HOME/.tl2005/texmf-var, etc.
> >> >  
> >> personally, I don't think TL should work around things as you
> >> suggest. it would be much better to NOT mix and match binaries,
> >> surely?

Playing nicely with other packages has been a feature of teTeX, and by
association, TeX Live.  If there are good reasons to recommend that TeX Live
not be installed without removing the vendor package, they need to be
Here is my list:

1.  historically, vendors have done a poor job of maintaining tex packages

2.  if you work with a GUI front end and menus rather than the shell, you can't
change the environment seen by programs such as emacs dynamically, so you are
effectively limited to one tex package.

I've been told that if I want to have multiple TeX distos I have to use WinXP,
but this seems to be because each disto is associated with a different editor,
e.g., xemacs for fptex (now xemtex), WinEDT for mikTeX. 

> > I can only support Sebastians comment, and if you really need to do this
> > kind of switching, make the change in texmf.cnf yourself.

I've already done that, so if I'm the only one who wants both vendor tetex and
TeX Live, the problem is solved.  If someone else has the problem, they can
check the archives for the fix.

> Isn't there a tool like "equivs" for rpm?  That is, something that
> creates a fake package to tell the system that the dependency is
> fulfilled? 

I prefer to keep the rpm database "honest", but it's good to have another
workaround in the record.

George N. White III
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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