[OS X TeX] Re: Remarks on the /usr/bin/texprograms symlink

Douglas Philips dgou at mac.com
Sun Nov 26 08:35:00 EST 2006

Thanks again Gerben, overdue for many years, as I have greatly  
enjoyed using and benefiting from your TeX installation system.

On 2006 Nov 26, at 7:10 AM, Bruno Voisin indited:
> Le 26 nov. 06 à 11:53, Claus Gerhardt a écrit :
>> (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.
> I totally disagree. Assumptions (1) and (2) are, IMO, the only Mac  
> way of using TeX: something that just works, and under whose hood  
> you don't have to look at.


> Perhaps some TeX addicts or nerds will want to install more than  
> one TeX distro on their Macs. I'm probably one of them, having  
> already the teTeX-based and TeXLive-based i-Packages installed, and  
> at some point in December I'll experiment with direct TeXLive  
> install. But those users are a minority, and TeX on the Mac should  
> not be made more complex, more difficult to deal with, just for  
> that minority.

Yes! I can't really believe that Claus is serious in suggesting, as  
quoted above, that I'll have to have a completely separate TeX  
installation just for each year's TexLive. That is beyound insane. I  
have no interest in a such an implicitly unstable TeX system that I  
have to go get a whole frakin' new version every bloody year. At this  
point I will probably update one last time when Gerben indicates he's  
released his last stable version, and then.... who cares... I need my  
TeX system to work. I switched to a Mac from a PC back when the 286  
was just about to be replaced by a 386. I switched then because I was  
sick of fiddling with my system instead of using it. I have no  
interest in repeating that experience with any piece of software,  
esp. not my workhorse TeX toolchain. Fortunately I've also found that  
while I have never upgraded my TeX system for reasons of need, I have  
felt it reasonable to occasionally run the i-Installer and see if  
anything new has popped up. I trust Gerben's release vetting system  
and (so far) have never regretted using it.

Related, but separate, perhaps, is the point to notice that most of  
the software I'm using on a Mac these days (and a number of programs  
that I have to use on a PC for my day-job) have the ability to within  
themselves check for new/updated versions. TeX being so heavily a  
command line program, I would not expect that, and yet, that is  
precisely what the i-Installer gave me. It was a bit more manual of a  
process than just selecting a menu item "Check for Updates", but then  
TeX (or LaTeX) itself is not a program that is always running (which  
a browser often is, for counterpoint).

I have become very spoilt by Gerben's system and its quality, and  
will miss it. If I have the time going forward, I would like to  
participate in the group effort to continue that work going forward...

> All these threads from the past few days must be leaving normal  
> users with the impression that TeX on the Mac has become a beast,  
> practically impossible to deal with without the help of this list  
> or without a nearby Mac and TeX guru. That is not the case, and  
> that should never be the case.

Hear Hear!


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