Suggestions for packaging TeXmacs

In the case that you wish to package TeXmacs for some Linux, Unix or Knoppix distribution, it may be useful to be aware of a few points. Depending on the type of distribution and its physical support, this will allow you to optimize as a function of size, speed, or required dependencies.

General points

The development releases of TeXmacs carry four numbers, like or The stable releases either two or three, like 1.0, 1.0.4 or 1.1. Stable releases are rather frequent (twice or thrice a year), so we recommend to use them for all major distributions.

Please send us an email if you maintain a TeXmacs package for some distribution, so that we can maintain a list with distributions which support TeXmacs.

TeXmacs dependencies

Theoretically speaking, TeXmacs only depends on Qt, Guile and FreeType2 in order to be built on Linux. However, several more specific features of TeXmacs depend on external programs. In particular, spell checking makes use of Ispell or Aspell, the rendering of images depends on Ghostview and/or Imlib2, the Iconv library is needed for the Html converters, and we make use of several command-line utilities and ImageMagick for conversions between different image formats. The TeXmacs package should at least recommend the installation of these other programs.

From version on, TeXmacs no longer depends on TeX/LaTeX, but we added a dependency on the Qt library. When configuring TeXmacs using ./configure –diable-qt, it is still possible to build the old X11 version.

Font issues

Some of the fonts which are present in the official TeXmacs sources may also be present in the TeX/LaTeX packages for your distribution. In order to reduce the size of your TeXmacs package, you might wish to factor out those fonts. However, the default fonts which are shipped with TeXmacs may change from time to time. Therefore, it is probably cleaner to distribute TeXmacs as a whole, except when about 10 megabytes of additional package size really matters.

Improving the boot speed

On Knoppix systems, it may be interested to shortcut several things which are done when you run TeXmacs for the first time, by making use of the TeXmacs cache. In order to do so, install a brandnew version of TeXmacs and remove your ~/.TeXmacs directory. Start TeXmacs once and ask the program to build the complete user manual using HelpFull manualsUser manual. When TeXmacs will be done, carefully copy the files

~/.TeXmacs/system/settings.scm ~/.TeXmacs/system/setup.scm ~/.TeXmacs/system/cache/*

to some location in the TeXmacs distributiuon. You may now modify the TeXmacs script so as to copy these files back whenever the file ~/.TeXmacs/system/settings.scm does not exist (before booting TeXmacs in the usual way). This should reduce the boot time to a few seconds.