Am 07.03.2018 um 18:16 schrieb Jean-Marc Lasgouttes:

OK, I see now. But wasn't there something equivalent before that?

The console is a new concept. Before there exist 2 different programs, one for the settings, one for the package handling. the new console unites them.

What makes problems is this big update of the whole packaging system. Moreover, there were some bugs in the new package handling system. For example users having consecutive semicolon ";;" in their PATH environment variable could not use MiKTeX after touching it (by installing a package etc.)

However, this update is the biggest since 7 years. Unfortunately it coincides with the LyX release. I think the next days most problems and bugs will be fixed.

I understand that distributions are user's choice, but it is a pity that we can be so vulnerable to other people's bug.

That is a general problem of LyX. We rely on many third-party programs. If one has a bug, users get errors and blame of course LyX. We cannot say e.g. "sorry that you cannot compile your document anymore because of a bug in ImageMagick". The users' problem is to get his document to compile. If we are guilty or a third-party program, doesn't fix the users' problem.

We had problems in the past with Ghostscript, ImageMagick and even Python. Now we have one with MiKTeX.

After the installer for 2.3.0 I will provide an installer that uses Python 3.6 instead of 2.7. Since a bug in there can break LyX, I have to be very careful and chose this 2-stage upgrade: first LyX, IM and GS, then keep all third-party progs and only upgrade Python.

versions? I see that you often try to update miktex as soon as possible, but is it wise?

I tried this. But the oldest available miktex installer from October is exactly the one having the bug that makes now problems. What will work is of course that people reinstall MikTeX using the LyX bundle installer because this installs a MikTeX from February containing the new MiKTeX console. But a reinstallation means people loose their personal settings.

With the version 3 of the installer I think we found the best possible solution where people can kep their settings and get a working LyX.

I think that explaining people how to install LaTeX themselves is the way to go.

My experience (even at the university with students) shows that this is too complex for users. They don't accept to invest an hour just to install a program. In the past there was no other choice and that was why Angus and I developed the Win installer. The Win installer consists of so much code because there are many different cases to respect (has the user admin privileges, is Perl, Python etc., already installed. What settings are there used, What is in the PATH and the local PATH variable, are there other LyX installations that should be kept functional, ...)

The example of rupee that you gave later in your message is typically an example of things going wrong. You cannot afford to use your time to fix these issues.

MiKTeX doesn't change all the time. The current situation is an exception. Concerning the packages, yes I think it was worth it to invest time. This work is done and don't require much maintenance. Only for every major LyX release I check if the package list is still up to date or if new packages must be added or if some need to be renamed. This can be done within an hour.

it is so important, let's tell people to install the full textlive version and forget about any other problem.

Yes, this might be an option. The question is if users would accept to download 3 - 4 GB. With the LyX bundle installer the have already to download about 250 MB for the installer and 50 MB for the packages. So all in all about 300 MB. For a fresh installation and proper DSL speed the whole installation can be done in 5 minutes. For the full TeXLive I don't know (might depend in the mirror servers).

Why not use a distribution that has it all, to begin with?

Then you need the full TeXLive or the full MiKTeX. Both is possible, but see above for the acceptance. What the LyX bundle installer uses is a compromise as consequence of many discussions with users in the past. MiKTeX provides a basic installation. But as it is a basic distribution, it cannot contain special packages. LyX grew and uses more special packages for its new features. Therefore a basic LaTeX distribution cannot contain everything people might want to use in LyX. On the other hand people opted not to be forced to install several GB to get a full distribution. I think, as in most situations, one need to use a compromise. And compromises have disadvantages.

Incidentally, this is why the software should not update itself during these sessions.

In the past it did not because only the packages could be updated. Unless you either forced an update in the LyX installer or MiKTeX itself, nothing happened because the package handling system stayed stable for around 7 years.

regards Uwe

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