[OS X TeX] Re: PS on TeX Switcher

Peter Dyballa Peter_Dyballa at Web.DE
Sat Nov 25 06:21:00 EST 2006

Am 25.11.2006 um 11:19 schrieb Joachim Kock:

> In an sense I am sympathetic with the idea of setting PATH in
> the environment.plist file.  I think it is the only logical
> continuation of the unix tradition.  But then the shells should
> respect it too, i.e., the initialisation files should not
> overwrite the PATH but only add to it...  It is logical, because
> the idea of setting the PATH in initialisation files is that
> they are read by the outermost processes, the shells (hence the
> name).  But that was the case in classical unix.  Now the
> situation is different since there are GUI programs running
> outside a shell.  So it is logical to move the PATH setting a
> step up and have it in an environment.plist file read by the
> login process.
> The main opponent to the environment.plist mechanism is the
> i-Installer who claims it can't work reliably if it inherits
> a PATH it doesn't control.  I don't understand this argument.
> If i-Installer wants to control the PATH, it should just set it
> itself.  (This last sentence is not meant as an instruction,
> but rather as an illustrationo of my lack of understanding.)


Shells can learn from ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist:

	export PATH=$(defaults read "${HOME}/.MacOSX/environment" PATH)
	MANPATH=$(defaults read "${HOME}/.MacOSX/environment" MANPATH)
	export MANPATH
	set path=(`defaults read ~/.MacOSX/environment PATH | tr ':' ' '`)
	setenv MANPATH   `defaults read ~/.MacOSX/environment MANPATH`

This is the proper Mac OS X way to make sure that a low level UNIX  
shell or programme has the same fundamental settings as a high level  
Aqua application.

For my set of shell scripts to integrate X11 and TeX in a multi-user  
environment (Make X11 aware of TeX on a Mac.app) the launching X  
server writes via ~/.xinitrc the DISPLAY value into ~/.MacOSX/ 

	defaults write ${HOME}/.MacOSX/environment "DISPLAY" $DISPLAY

because now its value is determined. A user's .login or .bash_profile  
file provides an "alias" (kind of a shell function) to update the  
DISPLAY setting if the Terminal was launched before X11 that reads  
from ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist the true DISPLAY value (this "alias"  
has to be used actively, i.e. it has to be invoked on the command  
line, because now the Terminal's set-up is finished, every further  
change has to be done actively by the user). And when X shuts down it  
removes its change to ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist again via .xinitrc:

	defaults delete ${HOME}/.MacOSX/environment "DISPLAY"

updisp      	() { export DISPLAY=`defaults read "${HOME}/.MacOSX/ 
environment" DISPLAY` ; }
alias updisp        'setenv DISPLAY `defaults read "${HOME}/.MacOSX/ 
environment" DISPLAY`'

It's so easy to handle ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist ...



"A mathematician is a machine that turns coffee into theorems."

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