[tex-live] external perl on win32

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Dec 15 16:23:55 CET 2010

On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 8:35 AM, T T <t34www at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Dear All,
> We are debating a change in how external Perl installations are
> treated on win32.
> Currently, an installed 3rd party Perl is used (if found on the path)
> instead of the one from TeX Live in order to allow for extra modules
> that some scripts we ship may need.  Unfortunately, some distributors
> ship a bare bones Perl interpreter with their software and they think
> it's a good idea to put that on the path.  Such a stray Perl will
> break lots of our basic utilities (e.g., epstopdf)---clearly not a
> good situation.

This gets quite tricky -- the user may not even be aware that a perl was
installed with some application, or they may install TL and then install an
application that puts a minimal perl on the path and will break existing
apps that rely on the path to find a perl interpreter.

I favor an approach that enumerates the available perl's and lets the user
choose, maybe with some advice of the form "if you don't know what perl
is, choose the one from TL, but note that certain utilities do require
a complete
perl installation."  Once found, the perl path needs to be saved and used.
Perhaps one  option would be "Use the perl interpreter found in the path" for
people who plan to update perl early and often.

> We plan to introduce an explicit option to enable search for an
> external Perl with a default value set to disabled.  Are there any
> users relying on the current behaviour, who would not welcome that
> change?

Life would be so boring without change.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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