[OS X TeX] altpdflatex - back compatibility please

Jung-Tsung Shen jushen at gmail.com
Tue Oct 11 12:53:19 EDT 2005

On 10/11/05, Gerben Wierda <Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl> wrote:
> > I'm surprised if the altpdftex script has actually been removed, because
> > one important virtue of tex is back compatibility.
> >
> > I think the removal of altpdftex should be reconsidered.
> The altpdftex->simpdftex change has been made because altpdftex needs a
> separate command file for every type of format (altpdftex, altpdflatex,
> etc.) and this clutters your binary directory and is also problematic to
> maintain: if you enable or disable formats (via fmtutil, texconfig or the
> i-Package configure phase) the required extra altpdf* links are not
> automatically created. When we were dicussing adding this, the result was
> that altpdf* would be replaced by a single command with an argument. That
> needs to to be maintained and it is cleaner.

As a minority on this mailing list, I figure I should say something.

I have been using LaTeX for a long long time: starting with Sun
workstation in college, then luckily Mac Textures, then MikTeX +
WinEdt on Windows, and then TeXShop + Gerben's i-installer.

How have I been using LaTex? Well, Textures, MikTeX+WinEdt, and
TeXShop + i-installer really made the life easier and beautiful. The
only thing I need to know is "type my document", and "press buttons".
Being spoiled by the convenience, these two steps are almost the only
things I know about LaTeX.

If I can represent the bottom group of people of the mailing list, who
use LaTeX every day but know nothing more than the two steps above
(because we really don't need to know more than that) and assume the
number of elements in the group is bigger than 1, then I could say : I
am a bit confused about the transition and I also couldn't find a
readable document.

My confusion is: the MacTeX 2005 is clearly targeted towards new
users. For us, the people having been using LaTeX, however, should we
`upgrade' or not? What do we gain to upgrade? What don't we lose to
upgrade? Is there any readable document, in the language for people in
my group, instructs how to do it?

Another thing I'd like to advocate when I am still on the whining
stage: the experienced users might underestimate the importance, the
friendness, and the convenience having a good package manager like the
one in MikTeX. The package manager is, according to my very limited
observations, very important to new users. No matter how complete
MacTeX is, it's unlikely that it includes all packages. The package
manager takes care of those things for the novice.

------------------------- Info --------------------------
Mac-TeX Website: http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/
          & FAQ: http://latex.yauh.de/faq/
TeX FAQ: http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq
List Archive: http://tug.org/pipermail/macostex-archives/

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list