TeX Hour: Thu 27 May: Understand + refactor TeX Live: more flexible + agile

Norbert Preining norbert at preining.info
Thu May 27 23:35:34 CEST 2021

Hi Jonathan,

On Wed, 26 May 2021, Jonathan Fine wrote:
> Don Knuth wrote TeX to be archival. To give identical results from
> identical inputs. My TeX source file is just one of many inputs. Recording
> and exactly reproducing the other inputs is vital, to fully benefit from
> the hard work of Don Knuth that made TeX archival.
> One goal is to make it much easier to archive all the resources used when a
> document is typeset. And at a different time and place, and on a different

Unfortunately that is getting rather difficult wrt to latex or xetex etc
- sty files can easily be found by using -recorder and copy all recorded
  files to the cwd
- fonts are much more tricky, as one needs to archive all the metafont
  sources at that time, or the ttf/otf fonts used in case of xetex.
  Which, when used with lookup by filename versus lookup by font name
  can be tricky.
- engines: some engines undergo changes that also might have an effect on
  the layout, so you need to archive also the engines' source code
  and be able to rebuild the sources

All in all, a goal that is hard to achieve completely. But with archival
of the runtime files (sty, tex, ...) one goes already a long way, and it
is rather trivial thanks to -recorder.

Fonts archiving gives you a little plus-alpha, but it is already a bit
more involved.

Engines archiving is only for the freaks.

Hope that helps you provide a **great** tool based on these suggestions.



PREINING Norbert                              https://www.preining.info
Fujitsu Research  +  IFMGA Guide  +  TU Wien  +  TeX Live  + Debian Dev
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