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[Axiom-developer] Requiring LaTeX

From: C Y
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Requiring LaTeX
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2006 08:43:20 -0700 (PDT)

--- Gabriel Dos Reis <address@hidden> wrote:

> | in some sense, yes. the SVN branch is a place where such "wild"
> | ideas (such as axiom without latex) can be explored. 
> You have also to realize that it is good to provide people way to
> test wild ideas and provide incentive to people.  Can you give me any
> reason why people would spend their valuable time Axiom-without-latex
> when it is for from the outset that it is wasted time?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this be simply addressed by
having a ./configure --nobuild-latex option in the build improvements
branch, with the reasonable expectation that this option becomes
"mainstream" when the build-improvements branch does?  The default can
be to build the LaTeX files, but a quick check for functionality
outside of the latex system can also be done for those who aren't
testing the latex build ability at that time.

I understand the desire to make literate programming part of the
process and I agree with that goal, but in cases like the sourceforge
compile farm I can certainly see checking the non-latex parts of the
build on those platforms.  We aren't in the business (so far as I know)
of testing latex functionality on different platforms - we assume if
people want latex built they have latex available, just like gcl
assumes a working gcc available.  If people don't have latex available
and can't install it, then I can see a minimalist build option. 
Editing the files in pamphlet style doesn't mean you need to check that
the latex part works then and there - if the code part and the notangle
part work there then latex can be debugged later on a machine/platform
where it does exist.

In the very long term, something like an improved cl-typesetting might
enable us to actually remove the need for a working TeX installation as
a requirement for creating the literate files, but since we can't
currently provide our own solution and a serious LaTeX installation is
sometimes a lot to assume I would favor making the LaTeX build a
configure time option.  The default should still be to build it, but I
would support giving the user the choice to disable it because there
are circumstances (the SF compile farm being a good example) where
there is a valid reason not to use it.


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