[MetaTeX] Why kpathsea???

Taco Hoekwater taco at elvenkind.com
Sat Aug 7 09:45:44 CEST 2004

On Fri, 06 Aug 2004 21:15:32 -0400
skhilji at tampabay.rr.com wrote:

> Having absolutely no experience with kpathsea, please allow me to ask a 
> dumb question.

Not dumb, spot on. :)

> I understand that kpathsea's job is to locate the path of a file in the 
> TeX tree given just the filename.  In MetaTeX, the plan is to replace it 
> with a C library that looks for files in some form of an archive.
> Why wouldn't the following approach work?

In essence what you decribed is what kpathsea does. The difference is that 
you propose a dedicated database while ls-R files are homegrown. The reason 
behind ls-R files is, afaik, historical: mktexlsr didn't exist in the early 
days so interpreting 'ls' output made sense (quite easy to manage by hand).

The main reasons why I wanted an archive data file (i.e. database) instead 
of a directory tree for MetaTeX:

1. much simpler installation
2. it looks less archaic 
3. more efficient use of disk space
4. fewer system i/o calls, because the archive content will be used directly.
5. faster (because of 3. and 4.)

Greetings, Taco

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