[OS X TeX] TUG installer symlinks in /usr/bin

Joachim Kock jkock at start.no
Sun Nov 26 18:59:29 EST 2006

Just to add another complicating element to the discussions:
the TeXLive installer from TUG offers an option to create
symlinks in /usr/bin/ to the tex programs.  As far as I can
see, this represents a potential conflict with the installers 
and switchers based on Gerben's setpath script.  Namely, 
Gerben's script appends to PATH instead of prepending.  Since 
by default the /etc/profile defines the PATH to be /bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin, this means that if a user 
installs from TUG with the symlink option, all future upgrades
via MacTeX or TeX Switcher (or i-Installer?) will fail to 
adjust the PATH correctly.  The old /usr/bin/ symlinks will 
take precedence, pointing to the old installation.

I have not tried this in practice.  If I am wrong I apologise
for the noise.

On the other hand, If this is right, then it is an illustration
of what I just wrote in response to Claus, namely that an
installer script can not possibly know what programs the user
has in his PATH (short of globbing, or such brute-force tricks),
In this case the surprise is that the user has TeX programs
in /usr/bin/!  

Is it possible that it would be more correct for the setpath 
script to prepend instead of appending?  Perhaps it isn't, and 
perhaps it would be an overreaction to change the order...
That's Gerben's decision, of course -- I do not pretend to be
an expert.  I just thought I would mention the issue.


PS: in fact the same problem would seem to occur if a user 
first installs a Fink tex, and then one of Gerben's: since 
Fink prepends /sw/bin, Gerben's script would not have any
effect...  I can hardly believe I am right -- I would imagine
this sort of conflict had happened several times in the early
days of OSX, when the last Fink tex'ers switched to Gerben's
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