[OS X TeX] End of i-Installer/i-Packages support per 1/1/2007

Claus Gerhardt gerhardt at math.uni-heidelberg.de
Mon Nov 13 07:18:26 EST 2006

Gerben's i-Installer is a sophisticated piece of software and its  
contents, the i-Packages, need periodic upgrades. On a more abstract  
footing, any tex installation software requires this periodic upgrade  
process and for the best of the maintainers (and the users) this  
process should be almost fully automated like simply replacing the  
old contents by the new contents of a predefined subset of the  
TeXLive installation whenever there is a new version of TeXLive.

Dick's announcement yesterday with the good news indicated that such  
an automatic update process is achievable. We should encourage Dick  
to pursue this goal of a robust, simple and dependable tex  
installation via MacTeX which requires minimal maintenance and offers  
upgrades whenever  there is a new TeXLive version.

The MacTeX installation process should be complete independent of any  
future work on Gerben's i-Installer by others. If people are willing  
to step in spending a lot of their time in maintaining i-Installer  
that would be fine. However, if they decide to keep up with Gerben's  
complex customization possibilities and quick  upgrades whenever a  
single binary or package has changed, they will find that the burden  
is too much, and frankly, also unnecessary.


On Nov 13, 2006, at 12:31, Norman Gray wrote:

> On 2006 Nov 12 , at 22.42, Gerben Wierda wrote:
>> The i-Installer and the i-Packages will still be available. There  
>> will be updates and support until 1/1/2007. After  that, I will  
>> only update stuff if I need it for my own personal use. And  
>> something like the fully automated updates of the ConTeXt updater  
>> will keep running.
>> Besides, it is all open source and can be downloaded from  
>> SourceForge. Anybody can download and build i-Installer and i- 
>> Packages. Until 1/1/2007 I will also work on cleaning up  
>> documentation etc. to support this. If people want to take over  
>> the role of i-Packages editor or i-Installer maintainer, I'll help  
>> them too.
> Ditto to everything folk have said.
> I've spent long enough with LaTeX that I probably could install it  
> the hard way, but I'm extremely glad and grateful that Gerben has  
> allowed me to largely forget how to do that: I treasure my  
> rediscovered ignorance.
> Gerben has done his duty in the salt mines.  Can we here assemble  
> some sort of community process to keep the i-Installer and the i- 
> Packages going -- to catch the ball Gerben has passed, before it  
> hits the ground?
> What needs done?
> * ii2 is in sourceforge (damn: I was half-planning to volunteer for  
> that!), with two developers.
> * A quick glance through the i-Packages tree suggests that most of  
> the content there is shell and Perl scripts to handle the  
> installation of components.  Do they take much maintainance?
> * Gerben has said that the prospect of keeping up with TeXLive was  
> daunting.  Can you go into a little detail, Gerben?  Is that the  
> sort of task that could be decomposed and distributed?
> * Do I get to be the first to say `wiki'?
> My Objective-C skills are too weak to be useful; *TeX I'm OK with;  
> scripting I can do with my teeth gritted.  I can't in all  
> conscience devote a lot of time here, but it's certainly in my  
> interests to donate some effort at least, if a way can be found to  
> keep Gerben's distribution going, in a way which spreads the effort  
> around.
> I say this with a great deal of trepidation: I am _not_ looking for  
> extra work now.  But if I can donate some of the effort that Gerben  
> has hitherto saved me -- countable in days -- then I've still gained.
> Any suggestions for a process, anyone?
> Norman
> -- 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> ------
> Norman Gray  /  http://nxg.me.uk
> eurovotech.org  /  University of Leicester, UK
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