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texlive-build-system: phase `build' failed

From: Pierre Neidhardt
Subject: texlive-build-system: phase `build' failed
Date: Mon, 28 May 2018 18:25:19 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 1.0; emacs 26.1

I'm working on a bunch of TeXlive packages and I keep running into a few

1. Does anyone know how to search for the path of a package in TeXlive's
tree without checking out the whole SVN repo? is not so convenient
to browse.

2. Are the package dependencies documented?  For instance requires microtype to build properly,
but that does not seem to be mentioned anywhere on CTAN.

3. The most important issue: I can't get "texlive-build-system" to work.
For instance:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
(define-public texlive-latex-microtype
    (name "texlive-latex-microtype")
    (version (number->string %texlive-revision))
    (source (origin
              (method svn-fetch)
              (uri (texlive-ref "latex" "microtype"))
              (file-name (string-append name "-" version "-checkout"))
    (build-system texlive-build-system)
    (arguments '(#:tex-directory "latex/microtype"))
    (home-page "";)
    (synopsis "Subliminal refinements towards typographical perfection")
    (license license:lppl1.3c+)))
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

fails with

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
starting phase `build'
This is LuaTeX, Version 1.0.4 (TeX Live 2017)
 restricted system commands enabled.
phase `build' failed after 1.7 seconds
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

And nothing else.  Looking at
it seems that everything went fine.

Any clue what I'm missing?  Otherwise I'll dig deeper in the definition
of texlive-build-system.

Pierre Neidhardt

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