[Slackbuilds-users] Tex Live 2014 - Update / Part 2

Jim Diamond Jim.Diamond at acadiau.ca
Tue Jul 1 14:31:10 UTC 2014

On Tue, Jul  1, 2014 at 05:55 (-0700), Rich Shepard wrote:

> On Mon, 30 Jun 2014, Robby Workman wrote:

>>Well, we need a TeX distribution in Slackware, if only to build docs and
>>such when upstream sources require it. I think there's a general consensus
>>that tetex simply isn't adequate for "real" TeX users, so they have to
>>replace it with TeX Live in order to do their own work.

> I must be missing something important. I've been using the tetex included
> with Slackware since I adopted this distribution in 2003. I've writen a book
> in it (published by Springer), prepare figures and plots with PSTricks, and
> do more than 90% of my writing with it (using the LyX front end for
> convenience). I recall reading several years ago that the tetex author (Tom
> E<something>) was no longer maintaining it so it would be replaced. I
> thought that TeXLive was the replacement, yet I see that tetex is still in
> the Slackware distributions.

> Over the past decade I've not experienced any deficiencies in my use of
> tetex. I switched to TeXLive-2010 only because I thought tetex was
> deprecated.

> None of this bears on Robby's anguish over how to move TeXLive into the
> distribution, yet I'd like to learn why tetex is not adequate (I consider
> myself a 'real' LaTeX user) and why it's still in the distribution if
> maintanence was dropped a while ago.

> A curious mind would like to know,

A lot has changed in the TeX world since Tom Esser (IIRC) stopped
maintaining tetex.  One of the beauties of TeX, of course, is that you
should be able to tex some document you created in 1985 and get the
same output.  However, there are a lot of new features which people
use.  For example, I stopped using PSTricks long ago in favour of
TikZ (not to suggest it is uniformly superior), and assuming TikZ is
not found in Slackware's tetex, I'd be dead in the water trying to use

Judging by info on comp.text.tex, there have been lots of updates and
additions to PSTricks in the last few years, so anyone using TE's last
version of tetex would be out of luck on that.

And luatex has come a long way recently, I perceive a lot of people
are moving to that.

So I'd say it is not so much that tetex has "deficiencies", but it is
(now) a small subset of what TeX currently is.  And anyone who is
making use of "new" features can't live in the tetex world.



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