[OS X TeX] Re: local vs. global symlink

Joachim Kock jkock at start.no
Tue Nov 28 16:26:54 EST 2006

Claus wrote:

> The last days I used the local symlink for tex and found that its  
> more convenient for me: Switching is simpler, for no password is  
> required, and the command line I didn't need, since I ran texdoc from  
> Local Switcher and kpsewhich as a TeXShop macro, and these are the  
> only tex related commands that I use in the terminal.
> The majority of tex users will therefore be better served by using a  
> local symlink.

Just my two cents:

Assuming for a moment that the solution is going to be symlink based, I
think both the system-wide and the user symlinks are needed: the standard
installation should create /usr/local/texprograms which should be enough
for 90 percent of all users, cf. the original idea, while the user symlink
should only be created by 'switchers', when needed, for example in multi-
user environments.  

Hence the frontends should look first for the user symlink, and otherwise
use the system-wide symlink.

The user symlink is needed in those multi-user environment, as the
discussions have made clear.  On the other hand, it has also been made
clear that the majority of users want as simple a setup as possible and
have no particlar use of the user symlink, so it will be more convenient
for them to rely on the system-wide symlink.  Furthermore, files in the
user's home directory can at any time be removed by the user, and this
should never compromise the working of any programs.  In fact, this
'local symlink' as Claus calls it, cannot even be assumed to exists to
start with (after the tex installation).

Hence the need of the system-wide symlink as a fallback, a stable and
reliable backstopper, stowed away in a safe place.

Let me emphasise that this two-link solution is in fact nothing but
the current one-link solution for the vast majority of users (and I
am talking about the vast majority of all users, not the majority of
users who want to be able to switch between installations).

I think it would be a viable solution, although I am still not
convinced it is the ideal one.  I am worried about the lack of 
syncronisation between the frontends and the command line...
(I'll post another message about this.)

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