On 17/10/2020 18:16, LARONDE Thierry wrote:
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FWIW, one can not dump LaTeX on a virgin system (say D. E. Knuth
engines and fonts) if the following 4 tfm files are missing:


True but that's always been the case, since at least latex 2.09 in the 1980s. They are latex picture mode fonts developed alongside the original latex macros.

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For required/graphics, the driver dvips.def is not anymore generated
by graphics-drivers.ins: it has to be get from contrib/graphics-def.
(Not a problem for me, I know where to find it; but it could be 
mentioned in the doc.)

no currently maintained drivers are generated by the graphics package ins file, I should probably make the graphics-drivers.ins file a no-op, keeping the dtx for documentation on driver structure. Hard to believe that anyone is downloading a new distribution and using emtex.def for example.

I agree the first section of drivers.dtx probably should say something. and give a pointer to the graphics-def collection, however this is documented, the main documentation for graphics is grfguide.tex which says

The following driver options are declared in the packages.
The matching definition files (\emph{driver}|.def|)
are now also maintained by the \LaTeX\ project,
but distributed separately, in the CTAN |graphics-def| collection.
  |dvipdfmx|, |dvips|, |dvisvgm|, |luatex|, |pdftex|, |xetex|

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Neither ltxcheck nor sample2e.tex can be processed if the EC fonts are
missing (required?).

T1/TS1 encoded computer modern has always been required for latex2e, although the actual change affecting sample2e is this (in texlive 2019)

\UndeclareTextCommand{\textdollar}  {OT1}         % don't use the OT1 def any longer

so that $ is available in all styles without contortions to avoid turning into £ in italic which means that the text symbol font gets used in this example document.

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On a side note (since core babel is required): could you tell the babel

Javier is on this list I think , so you contacted him already:-)

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 to correct babel.ins in order to not provoke an unnecessary
overwrite check by docstrip, because "babel.log" is also used as the
output name of a file created as a side effect. Namely, in:

% Dummy, it just read "modules" to be used when generating
% the actual file. There must be a better way.

replace babel.log by dummy.log, for example (this is what I do by ed'ing
or sed'ing the file; but the less custom processing, the better ;)

If you use the supplied l3build script and unpack with `l3build install` this isn't actually a problem but it does seem a bit odd, perhaps leave an issue at https://github.com/latex3/babel/issues so it doesn't get forgotten.

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Thanks for the comments,



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