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Would you be willing to provide a helper function for installing the latex packages required when building R + recommended packages from source? For example, I had to install ae + parskip when building the utils + parallels vignettes.
I can certainly export that function (perhaps need to rename it :). The package names in pkgs-yihui.txt were collected from my experience of building vignettes of the huge amount of reverse dependencies of knitr/rmarkdown, etc. These are more than what an average user need, but I guess it is very worthwhile wasting a few megabytes of disk space compared to figuring out the required LaTeX packages from the error logs.
I haven't tried to build R from source since I created tinytex, so I don't know exactly which LaTeX packages are required. The total size of ae and parskip is about 650k when installed. Not too bad. Perhaps I should just add them to the default installation.
I thought a while about this and just documented it on the homepage: https://yihui.name/tinytex/#for-r-users instead of exporting the function since this function is very unlikely to be used by other developers in their packages, which means ::: is probably fine.