[tex-live] Fwd: Polish TexLive Stuff

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Mon Dec 18 07:55:02 CET 2006

karl at freefriends.org (Karl Berry) wrote:

[ about proprietary vs. free programs in an earlier mail]

octave which is free and "mostly Matlab (R) compatible" also has mex.
The main problem with Matlab being proprietary might be that they won't
see a need for a compromise with the TeX community.

>     That means that people have to decide whether they prefer TeX or
>     Matlab.
> I assume Debian (or whomever) has a way to allow users to install two
> packages even if they conflict, and the users can decide for themselves
> what to name the mex programs.

No, not without renaming the binary.  There's simply no way to have two
binaries in the path with the same name while still being able to access
both without giving the full path.  Therefore the rule within the
distribution is that packages must agree on a renaming; just declaring a
conflict is only a workaround and not tolerated for stable releases.

The usual rule in Debian is "If no one wants to give up the name, both
binaries need to be renamed".  Naturally, we can't force this rule upon
upstream maintainers, and in this case I guess it's up to upstream to
decide, since the problem is all but Debian/Ubuntu-specific.

> Anyway, like I said, whatever the Poles want to do is fine by me.  For
> myself, I see reason to force Polish TeX users into an incompatibility
> purely because Matlab decided to name one of their programs "mex".

If they choose to keep "mex", at least we Debian folks need to decide on
our own (and we need to decide fast).  I assume the decision will look
similar to the "usual rule": Both binaries are renamed, and local
administrators can create a symlink "mex" according to their

Regards, Frank
Dr. Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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