[tex-live] TL13 status

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Tue Apr 9 02:44:42 CEST 2013

On 2013-04-08 at 22:27:22 +0100, Philip TAYLOR wrote:

 > Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
 > > Phil, it's *not* frozen because it's bug-free.  We actually don't
 > > know whether it's bug-free because a lot of new packages were
 > > added recently.  To be frozen here means that no updates will be
 > > sent to tlnet.  Packages from CTAN will still go to the
 > > repository for a while.
 > I don't actually know what "the repository is", 

It's the place where all the work is done:


Packages from CTAN are checked in there (which cannot be fully
automatized, it's still a lot of work) and tlnet packages are created
automatically each night.  The latter explains why updates have to be
disabled if it can't be guaranteed that the repository is consistent.

 > but I do appreciate that "frozen" does not imply "bug-free"; that
 > was the very reason for my initial question.  But underlying that
 > question, and indirectly referred to when I wrote that what gets
 > burned to DVD is essentially unproven, is that (IMVHO) what is
 > potentially of far more use would be a freeze prior to release, and
 > that only bug-fixes would be allowed to trump that freeze.  That
 > would help to ensure that what went to DVD was as stable and
 > bug-free as possible.  In other words, I am suggesting that (for
 > the current year) it should be TeX Live 2013 that is frozen, not
 > TeX Live 2012.  For this to be feasible, it might be necessary to
 > work to a six- month cycle rather than a 12-month.  At relative day
 > 0 of TL'XX, TLNET gains the new release, and all are encouraged to
 > try it; for six months this version is incrementally enhanced as
 > new versions or new packages appear, and then as day 182
 > approaches, a freeze is announced, no new versions or packages are
 > accepted, but bug-fixes are.  The list is monitored until it seems
 > safe to assume that there are no remaining bugs, at which point it
 > enters not just freeze but deep-freeze, and the DVDs are burned.
 > These are then sent out with considerable confidence that they are
 > bug- free.  In a further 183 days, the next cycle commences and so
 > on.
 > Now this /may/ be similar to what the TL team already do (I do not
 > know) but it is not my perception of how things are; if I am wrong,
 > I will be happy to be corrected.
There is no way to find out whether a package contains bug-fixes or
new features.  There is no way to find out whether a bugfix introduces
new bugs.  Keep in mind that TL consists of 120,000 files nowadays.

I think that the biggest misunderstanding is that old stuff is more
reliable than a current release.  This is never the case.

When a particular program is released and you encounter a bug, the bug
will be fixed in the *next* release.  Whatever is released already is
frozen.  Everywhere.

It's funny to see that an enterprise grade Linux distribution recently
switched from teTeX to TeX Live 2007.  Of course, TL-2007 can be
considered bug-free.  Since TL-2008 was released nobody used it any
more and bugs are fixed somewhere else.

 > > The sole reason for the freeze is that for a couple of weeks the
 > > repository will be inconsistent.
 > > 
 > > Regarding upgrades: It would be nice if one can upgrade from one
 > > release to another.  But this is only possible if there are no
 > > significant changes.  Sometimes it's possible with a few manual
 > > adaptions but this year it's much too risky.
 > Isn't it only "too risky" because there is no proper roll-back ?

There is a roll-back already.  Just don't delete old releases.  This
is the most reliable way.  Even if TL supports rolling releases, I
would make a backup before.  So nothing is gained.

I'm using a Linux distribution for years which supports rolling
releases.  It works like a charm.  But sometimes significant changes
were made and after an update I got messages telling me that I've to
do this and that, otherwise the system won't boot anymore.  These
things are annoying.  I would be more convinced if someone points me
to a system supporting rolling releases which always works.
 > > You can safely install TL-2012, there is no need to remove older
 > > versions.  You can switch between versions at any time.  It's much
 > > safer this way rather than rolling back to an older release.
 > > What I don't know is what to do with the shortcuts on Windows.
 > I can probably handle those :-)

Glad to hear. As far as I know you, I suppose that you can survive
without them.


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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