[OS X TeX] New TeX distribution and setup

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Sun Dec 31 17:59:40 EST 2006

Le 31 déc. 06 à 17:04, Gerben Wierda a écrit :

> Actually, it *was* my "volunteer job". I like to help, and that is  
> what I got out of it. One can call that a profit in purely  
> economical terms, but that is about as right as saying that our  
> behaviour (including altruism) is purely darwinistic. True, but  
> meaningless.

And that job has been of utmost importance, not only for helping  
people, but also for establishing the Mac as a viable TeX platform.

Since this is probably the last opportunity for me to address Gerben  
publicly, I would like to add a personal opinion about the evolution  
of TeX.

Before gwTeX existed, the Mac was mostly a marginal platform in the  
TeX world. It was barely cited in books about TeX, and when it was,  
for example in the LaTeX Companion 1st edn, only OzTeX was mentioned.  
As a user of Textures at the time, like a bunch of other regular  
posters to this list, I was feeling marginalized, and I ended up  
thinking there should be something wrong in using Textures, since  
none of the books mentioned it (with the notable exception of Raymond  
Séroul "Le petit livre de TeX", translated later as Séroul's & Levy's  
"A Beginner's Book of TeX").

Gerben's work changed all this, by providing a TeX distribution for  
the Mac on par with the TeX distributions for the Unix and Windows  
platforms. Then Dick Koch's TeXShop and Jérôme Laurens' iTeXMac made  
this work usable by everybody, through front ends. Because of all  
this, the Mac gained visibility as a TeX platform, attracted users,  
and reached the point that Mac executables are now included in  
TeXLive, the standard TeX distribution from TUG.

Without Gerben's work this would never have been possible, in two  
respects: Gerben created Mac builds of the TeX executables, and  
created a setup (directory layout, config files, and so forth)  
allowing their use; and Gerben gave the Mac wider exposure in the TeX  
world. As far as I know, TeXLive's Mac setup is based directly on  
Gerben's work.

Thus, even though I personally find TeXLive a bit overcomplicated and  
overwhelming, it's probably all the better that TeX on the Mac is  
also moving to TeXLive, in the interest of standardization. But we  
all must not forget, that this is thanks to Gerben.

Happy New Year Gerben, many thanks for your past work, and very best  
wishes for your new work!

Bruno Voisin
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