[OS X TeX] MacTeX installer and man pages

Justin C. Walker justin at mac.com
Fri Jul 21 13:17:39 EDT 2006

On Jul 21, 2006, at 09:59 , Charilaos Skiadas wrote:

> On Jul 21, 2006, at 11:50 AM, Justin C. Walker wrote:
>> Just a followup (should have said it explicitly in my previous  
>> response): I would consider modifying 'man.conf' (at least on  
>> later versions of Mac OS X), rather than relying on MANPATH; I use  
>> the latter only for testing and quick checks.  The former is the  
>> preferred means to configure the 'man' command.
> Can you elaborate on that a bit? I am far from a Unix expert, but  
> it was my understanding that it's situations like this that  
> environment variables are good for. It just seems to me weird that  
> after using the path in MANPATH and not finding any matches, man  
> wouldn't go on to try the method specified by man.conf.
> I am just curious what the reason, if any, behind it is, if anyone  
> knows.

The strategy is pretty much laid out for you in the man page for  
'man'.  I will guess that the reason for the behavior you see is the  
idea of "overriding":
   - command line arguments (-M) overrides everything
   - If no "-M", use MANPATH
   - None of the above, use "man.conf"

I think trying to make sense of conflicting directions given by the  
above is fairly difficult, so the easy-to-implement, as well as easy- 
to-explain, choice is the hierarchy approach, without merging.



Justin C. Walker, Curmudgeon-At-Large
Institute for the Absorption of Federal Funds
Men are from Earth.
Women are from Earth.
    Deal with it.

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