[tex-live] tl2016,tl2018: broken psnup shipped

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Sep 1 23:27:40 CEST 2018

Hello Reuben,
porting the C files to Perl is obviously a great idea.  Programs
written in C can only be updated once per year in TeX Live but scripts
can be updated at any time.  IMO the higher level of abstraction also
simplifies maintenance.

I personally prefer texlua for scripts supposed to be used within a
TeX environment.  I'm using Perl for more than two decades and Lua for
a couple of years.  The advantage of Perl is that there are modules
for any problem on CPAN.  TeX Live only provides a standard Perl
distribution for Windows but not arbitrary modules available on CPAN.

In my experience texlua is the best choice in the TeX world because
the engine is ubiquitous, Lua is incredibly fast, and the Lua code is
much more comprehensible than anything written in Perl.  This also
means that it takes much less time to learn Lua than to learn Perl.

Anyway, you are the author and thus the one who has to decide.

On 2018-09-01 at 09:34:47 +0100, Reuben Thomas wrote:

 > See the .in files (they are processed by configure into suffixless
 > scripts).

It's not a good idea to strip the suffix.  The programs written in C
we currently have in TeX Live are installed in bin/<platform> and have
no extension except on Windows (.exe).

Platform independent scripts are installed in TEXMFSCRIPTS.  If you
upload your Perl scripts to CTAN, TeX Live would install them in


On Unix, TeX Live creates symlinks in bin/<platform>/ to files in
TEXMFSCRIPTS, and thus bin/<platform>/psnup will be a symlink to
texmf-dist/scripts/psutils/psnup.pl .

There are no symlinks on Windows.  In this case scripts are launched
by a wrapper which needs the extension (.pl) in order to determine how
to process a particular script.  The details are explained in the
wrapper script itself:


MiKTeX relies on a separately installed Perl engine which definitely
depends on filename suffixes, as usual under Windows.

So the best thing you can do is to provide the .pl suffix.


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de

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