[NTG-pdftex] [tex-live] Debian TeX -- new packages

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Mar 31 15:30:58 CEST 2007


On 3/30/07, Taco Hoekwater <taco at elvenkind.com> wrote:

> Frank Küster wrote:
> >
> > Yes, and even that is very common - that's what usually is indicated by
> > a soname change of a library.  We (Debian/Ubuntu) have made the switch
> > to poppler very early in its development, and this means that we're
> > likely to face a couple of soname changes.  Maybe later the API will
> > become more stable.
>
> As far as I know, it is not at all common that a program that uses a
> certain library in the repository is then redistributed using a
> different library altogether, with one version of that library
> available in one distro and another, incompatible version on another
> distibution. The connection with the main source is almost gone. And
> that is what has me worried.
>
> If everybody links with poppler, poppler should be in the repository,
> not xpdf.

Poppler need not be in the reposity, but it should be detected and
enabled, or available as a build option.

Such changes take time.  We are likely to see simiilar issues for xetex and the
font libraries (especially if there are big changes in the way math
fonts are handled).
It takes time for new libraries to be ported to legacy platforms.
Some new libraries
may end up being discarded when some fundamental design flaw is
discovered or something better comes along.

Many packages already have configure options to select different
libraries -- xdvi can be built against 4 different X-toolkits (Xaw,
Motif 1.2, Motif 2.x, LessTif).  The repository needs to support
transitional situations by providing multiple libraries and supporting
builds with either.  It is messy, but necessary if you are going to
support legacy systems without stopping innovation and security
improvements.

-- 
George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia


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