[OS X TeX] Re: Remarks on the /usr/bin/texprograms symlink
timbrophy at mac.com
Sun Nov 26 06:28:18 EST 2006
Thank you, Claus. I suspect that there are a lot of us who have been
very confused recently.
On 26 Nov 2006, at 10:53, Claus Gerhardt wrote:
> Let me try to answer your question. After Gerben's announced
> departure as the maintainer of the main tex distribution for the
> Macintosh (i-Installer and Gerben's repackaging of other tex
> distributions) we had to find other ways for an easy, comfortable
> and reliable installation of TeX on Mac in the future.
> Fortunately, this task was rather easy, since the original TeXLive
> (TUG) distribution offers a TeX implementation that works
> excellently on a Macintosh out of the box. TeXLive's installer
> script also allows a comfortable and quick installation from the
> command line. But for those that feel uncomfortable with the
> command line, Richard Koch's MacTeX now allows to install the full
> version of TeXLive (TUG) in the usual Macintosh way. The result is
> identical to what you would have get by using TeXLive's installer,
> apart from setting the path. But more of that later.
> Gerben's i-Installer installs only a repackaged version of TeXLive
> (TUG), which is not the full version, and has maybe some additions,
> I don't know exactly, since I am not interested in any additions.
> However, given Gerben's announced departure, his new TeXLive
> package was dead on arrival, and I wouldn't have released it in his
> place. The future certainly belongs to TeXLive (TUG) and MacTeX's
> installation of it for the Macintosh.
> Now to the path setting part. Gerben used a path setting script
> that installed a system wide path for his distribution(s),
> originally it was just one distribution, teTeX, which defined the
> tex path on the command line system wide for any user. I assume
> that the underlying idea was,
> (1) there is only one TeX distribution installed on the Macintosh
> (2) there is only one user who is then also administrator.
> The latter assumption might still be valid nowadays, however, the
> first is now definitely wrong. I have already two different TeX
> distributions installed (teTeX and TeXLive (TUG) using TeXLive's
> installer script) and some users may have even three (teTeX,TexLive
> (Gerben), and TeXLive (MacTeX)). In the future there will be yearly
> updates of TeXLive (TUG), i.e., a typical user will have installed
> at least two, but even three or more TeXLive (TUG) versions from
> different years.
> There should be an easy and comfortable way to switch between these
> versions. Richard Koch had the splendid idea to use a symlink,
> named texprograms, to define to the active TeX version. Changing
> the TeX version would be as simple as setting a new symlink.
> Koch's original idea was to define the system wide tex path as
> such that the system wide path would only have to be set once.
> Redirecting the symlink wouldn't have effected the path anymore.
> This is in my opinion the simplest, best and most comfortable way
> to define the system wide path.
> However, Gerben's i-Installer doesn't know of the symlink and
> conflicts would arise, if a user would have installed TeX via
> MacTeX with a symlink and the corresponding path, and later would
> have used i-Installer to install another TeX version and Gerben's
> path setting script would have overwritten the symlink path by its
> own path. Because of this compatibility issue the simple and best
> way to define the path hadn't been used.
> I argued differently, favouring /usr/local/texprograms as system
> wide path, combined with the recommendation that users shouldn't
> use Gerben's i-Installer anymore for installing TeX unless i-
> Installer adopts to the symlink.
> As my personal opinion, with all due respect to Gerben's role and
> achievements for TeX on Mac, I don't understand why, after his
> departure, and given the new situation that there will be several
> TeX distributions on a typical Mac, we should refuse to use the
> best method for path setting only because of compatibility issues
> with his i-Installer which will only install old tex distributions
> and no new ones anymore.
> This is the present situation. The normal user can relax, and I
> would recommend not to use i-Installer for installing TeX as long
> as i-Installer doesn't respect the symlink and all parties have
> agreed to the system wide path /usr/local/texprograms.
> MacTeX installs all available TeX distributions for the Macintosh,
> it knows and respects the symlink, and I would really like to know
> if there is anything that i-Installer can do that MacTeX is not
> capable of doing, apart from installing piece wise, which, by the
> way, is an option that I never liked in i-Installer.
> On Nov 26, 2006, at 10:36, Arno Kruse wrote:
>> Am 26.11.2006 um 02:39 schrieb Joachim Kock:
>>> Since I don't understand a word of what you are saying here, I
>>> assume you
>>> have not understood my point either...
>>> The point is simply
>> "I don't understand"; " you have not understood"; "The point is
>> simply". In Germany I would say "Realsatire".
>> I do agree at all, completely, totally. I am absolutely confused
>> and do not know what to do. I have installed TeXLive via i-
>> installer, but this seems to be wrong. Or seems to be a splendid
>> idea. Genial. Or nonsense.
>> I have installe the switching-program (or is it a script?), too,
>> but I cannot find it anywhere on my Mac, so I cannot use it.
>> Is there a patient, friendly angel willing to give an overview?
>> Allowing a simple-minded TeX-user like me to understand at least 5%?
>> Many thanks in advance
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