[OS X TeX] New i-Package releases (TeX & TeX Support)

Adam M. Goldstein adam.goldstein at jhu.edu
Tue Dec 26 21:48:29 EST 2006

On Dec 26, 2006, at 9:30 PM, Bruno Voisin wrote:


> Having used Yale to install finally the TeXLive-based TeX i-package  
> (with no MacTeX installed):
> - The TeX Distribution pref pane offers the choice between only:
> 	gwTeX
> 	gwTeX-2003-2005
> What's the difference?

I think that the first one is the "based on TeXLive" distribution,  
while the second is the gw-teTeX distribution we used to get before  
Gerben began making the transition away from teTeX.

I hope someone else will confirm this for me and Bruno, however.

I suppose that if the choice is appearing in your pref pane, there  
must be some trace of the earlier distro.

> - What's the purpose of having an application /Applications/TeX/TeX  
> Distribution Helper, whose only function for now seems to be  
> launching the TeX Distribution pref pane? If that's indeed the only  
> purpose of the application, I see it only as a source of confusion:  
> the pref pane would be well enough.
> - I must admit I'm not a big fan of putting TeX Distribution Helper  
> inside a folder /Applications/TeX. There are other distributions of  
> TeX out there (like Textures or OzTeX), and creating /Applications/ 
> TeX just for one distro is like appropriating the "brand" TeX: it  
> feels a bit as if Firefox was creating a directory /Applications/ 
> Web upon install, to be installed as /Applications/Web/Firefox.  
> Moreover, for those like me who aren't installing through MacTeX,  
> creating /Applications/TeX just for putting TeX Distribution Helper  
> inside seems unnecessary.
> Jérôme, Gerben, I know we had this discussion (regarding / 
> Applications/TeX and TeX Distribution Helper) off-list already to  
> some extent, but I'd be interested to see whether others are  
> feeling the same as me, or whether I'm just unnecessarily picky.

I don't see why it ought to have its own folder at all.  It's in / 
Applications, after all.

I think that the purpose of it is for the person who doesn't want to  
use the pref pane, even, but just wants to double-click on the  
application. "how do I switch distributions?" "use the Distro  
Helper." Contrast with "Open system preferences, blah, blah, blah."  
The extremely timid may be less worried by the former. Maybe I'm  
wrong about this motivation for the helper app, though.

I agree with Bruno that it would be better to call the folder (if  
there has to be one at all) "TeX Distribution Helper" or something  
more specific; Bruno seems right that it is a little presumptuous,  
although I don't think very much so, to call it ..\TeX; but I wonder  
if there is a greater chance of conflict with another application or  
set of applications that are unaware of MacTeX, or of conflict with  
someone's personal setup.

I suppose that the bigger issue concerns whether /MacTeX ought to  
create the ../TeX folder. It's not just the helper app that does  
that. Maybe it ought to be called /Applications/MacTeX, or / 
Applications/TeXLive-MacTeX or something quite particular.

Maybe all this means is that both Bruno and I are unnecessarily  
picky . . .

-Adam G.

Dr. Adam M. Goldstein
adam <dot> goldstein <at> jhu.edu

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