[OS X TeX] Re: PS on TeX Switcher

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Fri Nov 24 11:28:58 EST 2006


On Nov 24, 2006, at 6:48 AM, Charilaos Skiadas wrote:

> 1) I would have thought that all this could be done with a simple  
> shell script, possibly wrapped around in an applescript to get root  
> permissions. What does having it as a mpkg offer?

TeX_Switcher is one small "program" for all distributions. It makes the
two changes described in an earlier message.
It is easy to change the /usr/local/texprograms link; that could be  
done by lots
of programs in a multitude of ways. The harder thing to do is to  
Gerben's method of setting PATH and MAN pointers. I think it is very
important to continue using his method; otherwise users who use
Gerben's distributions (surely the vast majority of us) will run into  
that are hard to diagnose.

I've admitted that TeX_Switcher is a hack and welcome other programs  
to do the
same thing, BUT
	if an alternate program offered on this list DOES NOT use
	Gerben's method to set the PATH, I'd like to request that the
	announcement clearly state that it doesn't (and explain how paths
	are set)

> 2)
> Wouldn't it be much better for the user, for there to be a simple  
> program that offers a list of all distributions in the user's  
> system, and allowing the user to pick which one should be the  
> default one?

What other distributions are we talking about? I'd be happy to add  
others to the program, or you
can open up TeX_Switcher yourself and see what it does. You'll find  
that there are three
packages inside, one for each switch, and it will be very easy to  
determine exactly how the
package makes the switch.

> 3) I hadn't really heard of /usr/local/texprograms before, and it  
> is not set up in my system, which admittedly follows a relatively  
> old tetex install. Is this something that was added to the MacTeX  
> distros, or is it also there in recent i-installer TeX packages? Is  
> it reasonable to assume that from now on /usr/local/texprograms  
> will point to the latex executables the user will want to be using?  
> If TextMate was to help the user set up path issues, in an old  
> install like mine, would it be reasonable for it to link /usr/local/ 
> texprograms to the user's preferred TeX install?

I just made this addition. i-Installer doesn't add it (and doesn't  
destroy it either). Adding this link is very
easy; just make a symbolic link to your tex binary directory. For  
Gerben's distributions, running
TeX Switcher will add the link if you installed the distribution with  

GUI programs don't have to be modified at all. Users can configure  
them using the link
or not as they desire.


The main reason I'm replying here is to urge that we avoid confusion  
on the matter of setting
PATHS, by either using Gerben's method or making it very clear that  
we aren't.

koch at math.uoregon.edu

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