[tex-live] ctan->tl updates caught up

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Aug 4 04:53:31 CEST 2012

On 2012-08-03 at 09:06:06 +0100, Philip TAYLOR wrote:

 > Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
 > > Honestly, if it's necessary to re-boot the system whenever a file
 > > cannot be written due to braindead file system, then the
 > > operating should initialise the re-boot automatically.
 > The user may not want his or her system re-booted at that
 > particular moment in time; that is why it must be an option.
 > And it is not "whenever a file ..."; it is "whenever one or
 > more files ...", otherwise the process could take forever
 > (or longer).

At work I've installed TeX Live on a Linux server and users can access
it via NFS on Unix clients or via Samba on Windows clients.  I can
maintain the TeX Live system even though I don't have special
permissions on that server.  Thus I'm not able to re-boot the
system and there is no need to do that.

If there are no Unix clients, it's possible to install and maintain
TeX Live on a Windows server.  It's certainly quite annoying if the
server has to be re-booted whenever TeX Live is updated.

 > > Phil, do you really believe that all the deficiencies of Windows can
 > > be solved by re-booting the system?
 > Perhaps if you could enumerate "all of the deficiences" of Windows
 > I might be better placed to answer the question; I use Windows,
 > by choice, all day, every day, and although there are one or two
 > minor quibbles, in general it offers me a first-class service.

I mentioned many deficiencies already.  Dig out the old mails.  Or
look at the nasty workarounds in the installer and tlmgr sources.  I'm
not inclined to start a new discussion again.
 > > Why, on earth, should one re-boot at all if the contents of a file is
 > > the same before and after a re-boot?
 > If they are the same before and after then the file has not
 > been updated and no re-boot is needed.

If files are different before and after a re-boot, what happens at
boot time?  Are files downloaded and installed when the system is
booted and before the virus scanner is started?  

 > > If a re-boot helps at all, it means that Windows itself is
 > > unstable.
 > Do you understand the word "unstable", Reinhard ?  


 > It has no connection with what we are discussing.  "Unstable"
 > implies that the system crashes for no discernible reason.

There are random crashes, at least if a virus scanner locks files.
 > > As I said before, personal opinions are not helpful, what we need
 > > are technical solutions.
 > If personal opinions are not helpful, then you are at liberty
 > not to offer them.  Just as you are at liberty to refrain from
 > using the word "smartarse" in two consecutive messages without
 > any attempt to explain or justify your usage.
Don't understand what you want to tell me.  Isn't the sentence you
cited clear enough? 

 > One final point : are you aware that the TeX Live installer is the
 > /only/ installer to encounter this problem; all other Windows
 > installes quite happily co-exist with the wide range of anti-
 > virus programs that are in use, and queue an optional re-boot
 > if and when needed.  If every other Windows installer in the
 > world can manage this, does this not lead you to believe that
 > the problem may lay in the TeX Live installer rather than in
 > the anti-virus program and/or in Microsoft Windows ?

Then please tell us what exactly we are doing wrong.

TeX Live has always been quite powerful on Unix systems but the
Windows port was treated quite stepmotherly as a single-platform
single-user system in the past.  There were even different config
files for Unix and Windows.  When I wrote the getnonfreefonts script,
the gap was already so large that writing a script which works on all
platforms was a pain.

I therefore initiated a discussion about TeX Live on Windows at
BachoTeX 2007.  Fortunately Siep and Norbert were present.  My idea was
to make all the nice features we had on Unix available to Windows
users too.

As of TeX Live 2008, there is actually no difference anymore between
Unix and Windows.  You can install it on a Windows server and and make
it available to the clients.  It's absolutely unacceptable that the
server has to be re-booted after each package update.

Sorry Phil, I'm so glad about what had been achieved so far, and what
I'm not going to accept is to increase the gap after all the efforts
again.  Since TeX Live can be installed on a Windows server now,
re-booting the system after a package update is not an option at all.


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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