[NTG-context] How can I make a Gentoo Linux package for ConTeXt LMTX?

Max Chernoff mseven at telus.net
Thu Aug 18 02:51:14 CEST 2022

Hi Amano(?), Hans

> > Can you make it easier to make an OS package for ConTeXt LMTX by
> > releasing versioned (source) archives, including BUILD/INSTALL
> > instructions in the versioned archives, and so on? I wish I could just
> > extract a versioned binary archive into certain locations or use GNU
> > autotools or use meson build system which is far better than GNU
> > autotools.
> there is a github repository for the tex stuff 

For reference, the GitHub repository is at:

It's semi-official mirror, but the authoritative source is the zips hosted
by Pragma. 

> and have no experience 
> with all that versioning / release / os packaging stuff (couldn't test
> it anyway and continuously adapt to teh subtle differences in 
> distributions and os's) ... we just post zips (already for decades) but 
> anyone is free to come up with such instructions (e.g. aditya did some
> for arch)
> anyway, lmtx is still kind of experimental and at some point 
> installation will move to the garden (not much is needed, just a web 
> server) and the packaging scripts are / will be in the distribution  .. 
> there are no dependencies (and we keep it that way: self contained bins)
> sorry, i just can't spent time on all the possible variant ways of 
> installation .. that is up to volunteers

I think all that Amano is asking for is for older versions of the
zips/binaries to be kept available. Right now, the only files available
for download that I'm aware of are the latest versions.

This is problematic from a reproducibility standpoint, since if you have
multiple people, say, writing a large textbook, it would make sense that
they wouldn't want to upgrade their systems constantly in case something
breaks. These people can easily just avoid upgrades, but if someone new
joins the team, they can only download the newest version. However, that
won't necessarily match the older version that everyone else has, which
can lead to problems.

Having older versions available would also help in the case of major
short-term regressions, since users would be able to (manually)
downgrade to an older version if necessary. 

An easy solution to this would be the following: instead of overwriting
the whole "/install-lmtx/" tree on every update, you would install all
the new files to something like "/install-lmtx-2022-08-07/", then have
"/install-lmtx/" be a symlink to the latest "/install-lmtx-YYYY-MM-DD/".
I don't think that this would be very hard to implement from a technical
perspective, and the only downside that I can think of would be extra
disk space used. This is a fairly common implementation among other

One other solution would be to have "dl.contextgarden.net" mirror a
zip/binary combo once every few months or so. These would often be out
of date, but they would provide a stable archive that would be useful in
cases like this.

This is just a suggestion though; it's not something that I personally
need, although I see how it could be potentially valuable for others.

-- Max

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