A friend of mine updated TexLive from 2009 version to 2011 version over the weekend. Now he is having problems with pdf graphics files. The following is what he said.

I am having trouble with compiling my source files in TEX. Is there any way I can go back to the 2009 version?

All my files include graphics which were all imported as .pdf files. But in the updated version, it wants me to import them as .eps or .ps Of course I could have done that from the beginning, but the older version asked for .pdf and that was what I did.

Is this possible? That is, Does TeXLive 2011 not backward compatible?

I would like to pick your brains before calling him. He does have a lot of TeX documents and converting all graphics would be a nightmare for him. In the worst case scenario, how could he disable TeXLive 2011 so he could go back to TeXLive 2009? His operating system is OS X 10.6.

  • 5
    The probable cause of this is using latex as opposed to pdflatex. What front-end is your friend using? – egreg Mar 13 '12 at 23:29
  • He is using TeXShop. – Sony Mar 14 '12 at 0:05
  • 3
    Check in the preferences that compilation with pdflatex rather than latex+dvips+ps2pdf has been chosen: go to the "Typesetting" tab in and make "Pdftex" the default script. – egreg Mar 14 '12 at 6:57
  • I will ask him to check this. Why would TeXShop change the existing preferences as he has been using it without a problem before. I asked him to use Lualatex. He replied: **Thanks for the reply. I now use Lualatex and it is almost ok, in the following sense. For things I already compiled in the past, when I recompiled, several times it said - string contains an invalid utf-8 sequence.- I had to retype the few passages and then it would go through. ** – Sony Mar 14 '12 at 10:35
  • 1
    To switch to older version, on MacOSX, go to System Preferences, and under the Other category there should be a TeX Distribution icon, from which one should be able to select to use the older version. I have used this to switch between TeXLive 2011 and TeXLive 2010 in case I need to. I do not have TeXLive 2009 so can't test that particular case. – Peter Grill Mar 14 '12 at 16:17

You(your friend) are not giving enough info about his "pdf graphics files" problem for people to help you(him) out.

However, you also asked a more general question about about backward compatibility of TeXLive 2011. I can answer that question only from a user prospective (there are many TeXLive developers and contributers here who can give you their point of view).

TeXLive is just a distribution of TeX and friends. TeX engines at least the original Don's engine included in TeXLive is frozen (including bugs). pdfTeX engine (not sure but I would guess only bug fixes are added). Some engines are in rapid development like LuaTeX so I could imagine that new bugs are constantly introduced.

On the another hand most of us not just using engines but also various LaTeX packages for example. Those packages in my experience are not backward compatible. I had some very nasty surprises in the past for example with newlfm document class. I needed to quickly sent couple business letters for which I was using some old templates. Unfortunately, the default behavior had changed (it was well documented change as I learned quickly) but it put me in the really difficult situation at that moment.

TeXLive also includes a little helper programs like dvips for example. That particular one is frozen to my knowledge.

I hate to say this (I am sure I will be voted down for this) but TeXLive due to its unreasonable size (kitchen sink approach) and inconsistent behavior when it comes to location of files for example is like a can of worms. I actually liked much better teTeX which is now obsolete.

kerTeX is very promising IMHO. I would really like to see that project picking some more steam in the form of few more developers. I believe that in TeX ecosystem at least for Unix and Unix-like systems there is probably a place for another TeX distribution somewhat in between kerTeX and TeXLive.

  • 1
    Your link to kerTeX seems wrong. Except of course if you think TeX Live should be demolished ;) – mpg Mar 14 '12 at 8:31
  • This is very helpful. I do not have any more details than what I received in an e-mail. I advised my friend to use lualatex to compile his documents and it seems to work except for few exceptions and he is happy for now. I will be visiting him in May and then I could look into his computer. – Sony Mar 14 '12 at 10:30
  • @mpg Thanks for bringing to my attention broken link! – Predrag Punosevac Mar 14 '12 at 17:23

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