[OS X TeX] Recommendations for downloading LaTEX

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Thu Jan 27 10:55:23 EST 2005

Le 27 janv. 05, à 15:23, cormullion a écrit :

>> Getting back on subject: I think OzTeX is worth investigating
> Thanks - I’ll check it out. 13MB sounds much more reasonable!

The problem is just that LaTeX is big, and there's nothing that can be 
done against it. Over the years many people have written extensions for 
it (i.e. packages providing additional functionality or formatting), 
and the addition of most of them comes up to tens of megabytes, if not 
hundreds. Compare with the TeXLive CDs (several of them), which try to 
gather practically everything TeX-wise.

OzTeX is very nice software (I used it for several years), and it 
includes a sensible selection of the most common packages:


However as soon as you collaborate with people you will find out that 
your collaborators tend to use specific packages not belonging to this 
selection, and you'll have to download and install these packages. 
Inside the directory /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.tetex/tex/latex/ 
installed by the TeX i-Package in i-Installer, there are 219 
sub-directories each corresponding to one or several LaTeX packages, 
considered common enough by the LaTeX community to have been included. 
With it you're more likely to have on your computer what most people 
use, and to be able to get to work without having all the time to 
interrupt it to install additional stuff. TeX, as installed by 
i-Installer, is IMHO the closest to plug-and-play TeX as can get on OS 

So please believe us: trust i-Installer, and install TeX with it. You 
can then configure OzTeX to use this TeX installation and packages, as 
explained in the OzTeX documentation, so that you'll be able to benefit 
from a larger range of packages beyond the above selection, and you'll 
also be able to use from within OzTeX additional tools like pdfTeX; or 
install and use other front-ends like TeXShop, iTeXMac, CMacTeX.

As to your earlier post on the XeTeX list that i-Installer looks 
horrendous, I neither understand nor agree with it: the work of Gerben 
Wierda is quite impressive indeed, and free (or donation-ware, if you 
so feel inclined), and certainly the main reason why TeX is so easy to 
install and has been so successful on OS X so far.

As to Textures (I also used it for years, and like it, and keeps hoping 
-- maybe foolishly -- that an OS X version will come out someday), yes 
it's nice to use on OS 9, when you limit yourself to the selection of 
packages and functionality included and documented with it. But as soon 
as you need to collaborate with people using TeX on other platforms, 
you will soon see your days of work turn into a nightmare of 
compatibility issues. On the contrary, i-Installer's TeX, by being 
based on teTeX, the standard installation of TeX under Linux and also 
the basis of MikTeX, a common TeX under Windows, is as close to 
cross-platform as can get.

Bruno Voisin
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