Please no: [OS X TeX] set environment variables forapplications
bvoisin at mac.com
Tue May 25 18:58:41 EDT 2004
Le 25 mai 04, à 23:30, Enrico Franconi a écrit :
> So, your insisting that "unix" applications are different from GUI
> apps for historical reasons and therefore they are allowed to use
> global environment variables (unlike GUI apps) is simply wrong. On the
> mac (like on KDE or Gnome), all applications (including GUI
> applications) are unix applications.
A view from a non-developer: if I understand the discussion correctly,
that is simply not the point. Though technically Unix applications, OS
X GUI apps are different from traditional Unix apps in one respect:
they were not designed with Unix concepts such as environments in mind.
Applications originating from the Unix world, and available on OS X
either in their original Unix form as CLI apps, or in a GUI form as X11
or Aqua ports, were designed from the start with the notion of shells,
environments and environment variables in mind. They are thus --
supposedly -- robust against abuse of these concepts, and interact more
or less correctly with each other.
"Pure" Mac (and thus generally GUI) apps, by contrast, designed from
the start to run on the Mac, and either written directly for OS X (in
Cocoa) or ported from OS 9 (in Carbon), expect to find a more or less
virginal Mac OS, to build upon. Hence they are not robust against
environment settings, and may be deeply perturbed by them.
In this respect, I think, introducing specific settings and
enhancements for some GUI apps, in environment.plist, which may affect
badly other GUI apps, would amount to bad citizenship and should be
In a previous post I spoke about extensions in OS 7 to 9, installed by
some apps but affecting others badly. At the start of the OS 9 release
cycles I was getting so annoyed by extension conflicts that I was on
the verge of giving up on Mac OS, and it was the release of OS X which
made me reconsider (unfortunately in the meantime I had advised
colleagues to give up before me, and they are now happy Linux or
Windows users :-(. Please don't bring back the same kind of nightmare
to OS X, with some apps modifying the default OS behaviour and
affecting other apps; I'm really not willing to give up on OS X, but if
it comes to this, eventually I will.
PS At this point you may say: if apps were not designed with
environments in mind, how can they be affected by environment variables
set in environment.plist? Possibly they can't, I don't know for sure,
being no developer. If that's the case, then this entire post is
pointless, and I apologize. That's not the impression I got, though, by
reading through the previous posts of this thread.
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