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bug#20661: What prevents me from getting a preview?

From: Reinhard Kotucha
Subject: bug#20661: What prevents me from getting a preview?
Date: Sun, 31 May 2015 00:38:01 +0200

On 2015-05-27 at 23:31:09 +0200, Arash Esbati wrote:

 > Reinhard Kotucha <address@hidden> writes:
 > first of all Reinhard, a big thank you for providing and maintaining
 > this bundle.
 > > Instead of assembling emacs, auctex, and a bunch of libraries
 > > yourself, you could also try
 > >
 > >   http://ctan.org/tex-archive/support/win32-emacs-auctex
 > >
 > > This is hopefully easier to install, especially since it already
 > > contains all the necessary libraries (.DLLs).  I strongly encourage
 > > Windows users to give it a try.  I need more feedback in order to
 > > maintain it properly.  ATM I have the impression that only very few
 > > people are aware of this distribution.
 > IIRC correctly this bundle was assembled together some years ago by the
 > AUCTeX team.  It was a good idea then, but in the meanwhile, do you
 > think it is still worth the effort?

Dear Aresh,
thank you very much for your response.  First of all, a few words
about the history of the bundle.

A few years ago there was a "support" directory on the TeX Collection
DVD which contained a few TeX shells.  Packages in this directory were
not installed, but they had been on the DVD at least.  It was an
arbitrary collection, I don't even know who put the packages into this

It turned out that some TeX users assumed that these TeX shells were
recommended by the TeX Live team, just because they were on the DVD.

At this time Ralf Angeli maintained the wonderful emacs+auctex package
you mentioned, at alpha.gnu.org.  I thougt that when people believe
that these programs are recommended, then the program *I* recommend
should be available too.  Hence I pushed Ralf's emacs+auctex package
to the support directory.

Later I found out that everything in the support directory except
emacs+auctex were old versions of packages available at CTAN already.
When I removed all stale packages from the directory, emacs+auctex was
the only one left over.  This wasn't a good situation either, so I
moved it to CTAN in the hope that it gets more attention there and
deleted the support directory completely.

When Ralf Angeli discontinued his work at alpha.gnu.org, I took over.
Maintaining emacs and auctex it isn't much work, I just assemble stuff
from gnu.org.  I don't compile anything myself.

The nasty thing was to keep the image-libs up-to-date.  There are many
sites providing libraries compiled with MinGW but nobody seems to
update his stuff regularly.  In this respect, I'm very grateful for
the link

 > Required libs (not only for image support) and other bins (e.g.,
 > hunspell) are available from here:
 >     http://sourceforge.net/projects/ezwinports/files/

Not all the libs I need are available there, but it's great to hear
that it's maintained by Eli Zaretskii.  He's one of the major texinfo
developers and I know that he works continuously on his projects.

You asked whether it's still worth the effort to maintain the bundle.
Actually, I'm mirroring emacs and auctex now and for the latest
release I wrote a script which creates a .tar file ready for upload to
CTAN.  The mirror allows me to react faster than in the past, I just
have to change version numbers of packages in my script in order to
create a new release.  Only the libs need extra work, but if I mirror
ezwinports too, I suppose that I can save even more time.  Thanks again
for the link.

 > A 64-bit version with all required dll's is available here:
 >     http://sourceforge.net/projects/emacsbinw64/

I deliberately provide 32-bit binaries because I don't want to exclude
people with older machines.  The benefit of 64-bit systems is rather
small.  If speed matters: In a virtual machine running Linux on top of
Windows I could compile a LaTeX file five times faster than on Windows
itself.  A colleague could confirm it on his machine.

 > I think that most users would go a route mentioned above and leave
 > your package alone since they have to grab other libs from other
 > sources anyways (and they also get the latest version).

Well, you might be right.  On the other hand I'm convinced that there
are many Windows users who don't want to go this route and I wouldn't
go this route either.  The reason is that ezwinports, for example, has
a directory structure which is appropriate for MSYS/MinGW but not for
a standalone, portable emacs distribution.

I need the DLLs in the same directory as the emacs binary in order to
make installation as easy as possible.  An important feature is that
one can extract emacs-24.4+auctex-11.88-w32.zip in an arbitrary
directory, either on a disk or on a USB stick.

Another point is that "TeX Collection" DVDs contain a CTAN excerpt.
Recent editions don't include my package due to lack of space.  But
TeX Live is growing rapidly, so it's foreseeable that either two DVDs
will be needed in the near future or a media with more capacity.
Then there should be enough space to provide the package again.

 > Again, please don't get me wrong, I do appreciate your work on
 > this.  I am just asking if users honor this enough.

I didn't get you wrong at all.  I really appreciate your feedback.
Thank you very much.


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:address@hidden

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