[OS X TeX] migration from Fink to Gerben Wierda's TeX

Joseph C. Slater joseph.slater at wright.edu
Thu Feb 24 21:56:10 EST 2005

On Feb 24, 2005, at 9:17 AM, Gerben Wierda wrote:

>> Am 22.02.2005 um 22:56 schrieb Andrei Sobolevskii:
>>> Thus the question: what could be advantages (if any) of migrating to
>>> Gerben Wierda's TeX?  Do you think it would be a good idea?  For one
>>> thing, it seems that the latter TeX distribution is supported better
>>> in terms of getting up-to-date packages.  Is that right?  On the 
>>> other
>>> hand, nobody wants to destabilize an already working setup. Could 
>>> both
>>> TeXs live together on my Mac without conflicts for some transitional
>>> period?  Did anybody perform this kind of migration?
>> Although it will work to have both teTeX distributions (you only need
>> to handle $TEXMF and $PATH or $path, and this might be in shells and 
>> in
>> Emacs easier than in TeXShop
> You need to set $TEXMF and (though I think this still happens in Fink)
> $MANPATH (is handled by manpath.config). The only thing that influences
> your choice is $PATH
> If you want to use my redistribution of TeX in combination with Fink 
> for
> other tools, you can uninstall tetex in fink and install system-tetex 
> in
> fink. This installs an empty placeholder in fink that assumes you have 
> a
> TeX elsewhere. This way you do not need to change any environment
> variable.

Every once in a while, I run into some accidental dependency with Fink 
that requires in install of tetex. Every once in a while, I try to 
remove it. However, I'm paranoid enough to enjoy the comfort of having 
a second installation available if the first becomes corrupted for some 
reason while I must have it, but can't reinstall easily (i.e. 
travelling), or don't immediately have time. My computer is full of 
redundant software.

> If you want to have both available *and* want to be able to switch, you
> can add the path to my redistribution at the beginning of your $PATH
> variable, but this is slightly less secure that having it at the end. 
> It
> is however necessary to work with my redistribution if you also want 
> the
> fink distribution to be available. If you want to switch to fink's, 
> then
> you only have to remove my install from the beginning of your $PATH.

Likewise, before anybody ever contacts 'G' about his installation not 
working, they must comment out the line executing the init.csh, or 
init.bash (I think those are the two main path setting files for Fink) 
and see if that fixes their problem.

> Note that, though I disagree with fink's choice for putting itself at 
> the
> front of the PATH for security reasons (though I understand it is
> necessary for their consistency model), I have nothing against fink 
> (some
> people think I do). But I do rather dislike to help people only to find
> out after spending some time that the problem was that not my
> distribution, but some other software was called. Therefore, in case of
> problems: if you have more software installed, be gentle with requests 
> for
> assistance in my direction ;-)

G has exceptional patience in this area, from my observations (yes, 
once with me, when he should have flogged me). G
> PS. I sometimes think it would be nice to have the same amount of 
> people
> working on i-Packages as there are maintaining fink packages (or at 
> least
> 1 or 2 more). I can only do so much singlehandedly.

I would if I a) was competent (I've fooled a lot of people into 
thinking I am), and b) wasn't volunteered out. Gerben amazes me with 
how much he gets done with it. One week I spent more time installing 
updates than compiling documents. I know he had trouble getting some 
bugs out, but boy, the speed of his work. I don't think G sleeps. I 
work the web site to cover for my lack of programming skill (see how 
ugly it is?).


(+1) 937-775-5085

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