[OS X TeX] pdf font coding problems

Jens Nöckel noeckel at uoregon.edu
Thu Dec 22 11:44:35 EST 2005

On Dec 22, 2005, at 8:32 AM, Bruno Voisin wrote:

> Le 22 déc. 05 à 17:04, Jens Nöckel a écrit :
>> thanks for the info - I'll add this to my instructions, for those who 
>> use i-installer. I've got various other OSX applications that call 
>> scripts, and to get them all on the same page the plist mechanism has 
>> worked perfectly well for me. And as I say, it's customizable. I 
>> customized it so that fink will come first, because I don't use 
>> i-installer.
> Re-reading what I had written, I realized things may not be as simple 
> as I had thought: it's not necessarily true that a GUI application, 
> such as your Platypus script, will by default be able to launch Unix 
> binaries that are in the path of a login shell, such as that provided 
> by Terminal.
> This problem has arisen several times, in particular for Enhanced 
> Carbon Emacs and for LyX/Mac. The technical details are beyond my 
> understanding: I remember Gerben telling that it is up to the GUI 
> application to set up an environment providing the correct path for 
> the Unix binaries that it may be calling, and citing TeXShop as an 
> example, but I don't remember the exact solution. Given that LyX/Mac 
> is no longer using the ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist route, they have 
> probably found a solution. I'm a bit too short of time today to do 
> more resarch on this (being on holiday this evening, still with 
> several things to do, and not back until 9 January).
> Wait: in a earlier message to this list, here's what Gerben said on 
> this topic:
>> De : Gerben Wierda
>> Date : 31 mai 2005 23:55:20 HAEC
>> À : TeX on Mac OS X Mailing List
>> Objet : Rép : [OS X TeX] epstopdf can't find Ghostscript
>> Répondre à : TeX on Mac OS X Mailing List
>> On May 31, 2005, at 23:25, Peter Dyballa wrote:
>>> Am 31.05.2005 um 22:50 schrieb Gerben Wierda:
>>>> The environment.plist file is a leftover from NEXTSTEP and because 
>>>> it influences all apps it may have unwanted and unexpected effects 
>>>> (in fact it can break i-Installer if the contents are broken)
>>> Can you be a bit more specific on this? Which settings have this 
>>> impact? PATH only?
>> PATH is an important one for any tool that uses subprocesses. Muck 
>> around with it and suddenly apps may get different versions or none 
>> at all. I have had my share of help requests for i-installer doing 
>> funny things as a result of this.
>>>> The correct way is to have the GUI *application* (and not a global 
>>>> setting for all GUI applications) set the right PATH before 
>>>> executing commands.
>>> You mean that at login-time the correct values for PATH or path 
>>> should be set? And this should work because any process created by a 
>>> GUI app should have then too the right settings?
>> No, what I mean is that if a GUI app requires non-default setting for 
>> its working (and that generally means running subprocesses) it should 
>> keep its own PATH setting. TeXShop does this in its Preferences (in 
>> the Engine tab).
>> The Apple Frameworks for running subprocesses have the possibility to 
>> pass environment variables to that subprocess. Hence, TeXShop passes 
>> an updated environment to the subprocess including a PATH containing  
>> and /usr/local/bin and 
>> /usr/local/teTeX/bin/powerpc-apple-darwin-current (or whatever you 
>> set in preferences)
>> It is OK to have some sort of a default. It is not OK that 
>> i-Installer's PATH changes because some other Foo.app needs a 
>> different path.

The last sentence is important, of course.
So what I'll  do now (until I have a better solution) is the following:
INSTEAD of telling you what to put into environment.plist, I'll ask you 
to type the following:

defaults write ~/.MacOSX/environment PATH $PATH

in the Terminal. This way, what goes into the environment.plist wil be 
exactly what you already have in your PATH variable.


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