additional texmf tree for all users (was Re: [OS X TeX] Beginner help with TeXshop/MacTex needed)

Gerben Wierda Gerben.Wierda at
Sun Aug 27 17:33:39 EDT 2006

On Aug 27, 2006, at 12:02 , Rowland McDonnell wrote:

> My reasons are very straightforward, very
> clear, and I'm amazed that so many people have such difficulty
> understanding that it's much easier to manage your own additions when
> they're in a single, segregated directory tree.

I agree that that is a good idea and it may be confusing that some i- 
Packages write their TeX additions in texmf.local (like the ConTeXt  
updater). That way, texmf.local is not really your *personal* system- 
wide tree anymore.

The situation grew like this because the philosophy of i-Installer is  
that it replaces handwork you might have to do yourself. E.g. if you  
download ConTeXt from pragma in the zip form and have to install it  
in the system wide texmf.local tree. The ConTeXt updater i-Package is  
just a convenient way of doing that. Still, peopl tend to see  
something like i-Installer as a closed system and as such it should  
leave anything alone it does not own. i-Installer instead thinks of  
your system dirctories as not being exlusively owned, but as  
something many programs (installers, or even handwork from sources)  
may work upon.

I have been thinking in having another texmf tree which in prcedence  
lies between texmf.gwtex and texmf.local (texmf.gwextra), but given  
that I have to reorganize everything because teTeX as a separate  
distribution is dead, I have put that off. Still, I think the next  
reorg will make sure that texmf.local is *really* local.


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