[OS X TeX] Open Testing of MacTeX Distribution

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Fri Oct 7 13:26:29 EDT 2005


I'm at school but the students have left me alone. Let me answer a  
few questions
about the distribution.

1) The distribution contains

     Full, 2005 x86/ppc version of TeX
     Ghostscript 8
     ImageMagick, Freetype2, libwmf
     libconv if the user is running 10.2

but none of the other packages Gerben mentioned.

2) There is a reason the distribution contains a full install rather  
than a basic
install and doesn't allow the user to configure what is installed.  
The primary
focus of this package is a new user who doesn't know anything about TeX
and just wants to get started learning it.

At the Practical TeX 2005 Conference
where the idea of such a package was hatched, Peter Flom gave a talk
titled "A true beginner looks at LaTeX." One point he made is that if  
you are
helping a beginner, you should install a full TeX rather than a  
slimmed down
version. If the beginner tries a piece of TeX from a book and it doesn't
typeset because of missing packages, the beginner will not be able to  
the problem and give up on TeX.

3) I use CocoASpell. I don't believe we'd run into licensing problems  
it in the MacTeX package, but I'm basically the one who decided not  
to do it.
The reason is that CocoASpell modifies the behavior of other things than
TeX programs. If a new user didn't read any documentation (that covers
90% of them), suddenly finds extra dictionaries and different  
spelling correction
behavior in other programs, and doesn't know why, they won't be very  
CocoASpell is on the DVD, and a user who installs it directly knows  
the behavior came from.


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