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TeX Live 2012 release is near, so I think it is possibly a good time to sum it a bit, like it was done before with 2011. Feel free to add anything relevant in this community wiki.

What should we know about TeX Live 2012?

E.g. As a debian user I'm happy that wheezy (aka testing atm, freeze is planned on June 30) has the new TeX Live on board since May.

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To avoid any charges: I've already flagged the question for making it a community wiki. Unfortunately I don't see where I can do it myself. I believe I could easily set it year ago. Apparently something changed at TeX.SX. – przemoc Jun 23 '12 at 15:39
TL 2012 contains new versions of XeTeX and LuaTeX, fixing some long-standing bugs. (Not an answer, because I don't want to dig for links right now.) – Caramdir Jun 23 '12 at 15:56
@przemoc The ability for the questioner to make a question CW was taken out of the SE system a while back. What you did is right: flagging for moderator attention. – Loop Space Jun 23 '12 at 17:01
Why was it taken out? – Ingo Jun 26 '12 at 18:21

The TEX Live Guide for TeX Live 2012 has in section 9 “Release history” following information about the present version (page 39):

tlmgr supports updates from multiple network repositories. The section on multiple repositories in the tlmgr help output has more.

The parameter \XeTeXdashbreakstate is set to 1 by default, for both xetex and xelatex. This allows line breaks after em-dashes and en-dashes, which has always been the behavior of plain TeX, LaTeX, LuaTeX, etc. Existing XeTeX documents which must retain perfect line-break compatibility will need to set \XeTeXdashbreakstate to 0 explicitly.

The output files generated by pdftex and dvips, among others, can now exceed 2gb.

The 35 standard PostScript fonts are included in the output of dvips by default, since so many different versions of them are extant.

In the restricted \write18 execution mode, set by default, mpost is now an allowed program.

A texmf.cnf file is also found in ../texmf-local, e.g., /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/web2c/texmf.cnf, if it exists.

The updmap script reads a per-tree updmap.cfg instead of one global config. This change should be invisible, unless you edited your updmap.cfg's directly. The updmap ­help output has more.

Platforms: armel-linux and mipsel-linux added; sparc-linux and i386-netbsd are no longer in the main distribution, but are available for installation as custom binaries, along with a variety of other platforms: http://tug.org/texlive/custom-bin.html.

"Known issues in TeX Live 2012" adds:

We forgot to mention a notable change in TL 2012: the Japanese uptex engine (Unicode-enhanced ptex) and related programs (uplatex, upbibtex, etc.) are now included.

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There are also a few bug fixes in XeTeX, as far as I know. Maybe @KhaledHosny can be more precise. – egreg Jun 23 '12 at 19:23
XeLaTeX suddenly allowing line-breaks after n-dashes (undesirable imo) puzzled me quite a bit – thanks for clarifying. But even after turning this off, I still get different hyphenations in my files (some better, some worse than TL '11). Can anyone point me to where I can read more about the changes in hyphenation-rules? – Florian Jun 24 '12 at 9:42
Is there any list of interesting new packages maybe? – Ingo Jun 26 '12 at 18:20
The XeTeX-SyncTeX bug appears to be fixed as well as of 2012. In previous version there was an wrong offset, causing the sync to occur at a wrong paragraph. – Jörg Jul 26 '12 at 8:21

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