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

Reuben Thomas rrt at sc3d.org
Sat Sep 1 23:37:56 CEST 2018

On 1 September 2018 at 22:27, Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de>

> 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.

I'm not writing for the TeX world, psutils is packaged in Debian, and was
originally written to be highly portable.

Lua is great (you'll see if you search a bit that I'm a long-standing
contributor to the Lua ecosystem, was active on lua-l long ago, and wrote
the now-defunct Lua Technical Note 0), but it's not installed by default on
many systems, and its library support via LuaRocks is still relatively
immature, arguably because of Lua's philosophy of minimalism.

Perl on the other hand is installed pretty much everywhere, and has a great
deal of "batteries included". I tend therefore to rewrite C code into Perl,
as it does not, in practice, reduce by much the ability to install on
"out-of-the-box" systems (because on most systems Perl comes pre-installed,
or there's a standard installer).

My rewrite of psutils uses no non-core libraries at all.

> 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).

Not having a suffix for programs is standard. (I am coming from a POSIX
background here.) I use GNU autotools, and POSIX/UNIX conventions. In this
case, if you want to add suffixes, since all the programs are in Perl (or
will be in version 2, anyway), configure with --program-suffix=.pl.
Overall, please bear in mind that I'm writing for a wider audience than the
TeX world, and the best compromise I've found that does not involve custom
per-system code is to use POSIX conventions and autotools
(behind-the-scenes support is very good for even Windows nowadays).

At least in this case it seems there's an easy fix to all the problems
you've mentioned, though I'd be interested to know what TeXLive does with
packages that install a mixture of compiled programs and scripts (where the
suggestion I made above would not work). Autotools is sufficiently widely
used that this problem must have been solved before.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://tug.org/pipermail/tex-live/attachments/20180901/c1cfe832/attachment.html>

More information about the tex-live mailing list