[OS X TeX] Why I no longer participate actively on this list.

Victor Ivrii vivrii at gmail.com
Thu Nov 30 17:04:02 EST 2006

On 11/30/06, Claus Gerhardt <gerhardt at math.uni-heidelberg.de> wrote:
> This afternoon I decided not to participate any longer actively on
> this list. First, I wanted to do this quietly, but then concluded
> that a short notice and an explanation might be in order. The
> explanation is copied below.
> Claus
>         From:     Gerben.Wierda
>         Subject:        Re: [OS X TeX] /usr/local/texprograms -> /Library/
> ActiveTeXPrograms
>         Date:   November 30, 2006 18:26:44 GMT+01:00
>         To:       gerhardt
> > These possible settings make switching tex sources ugly. Dick's
> > original idea of setting a symlink in /usr/local, such that the
> > path to
> >
> tex would be universally defined as /usr/local/texprograms, on the
> contrast, is simple and beautiful. Users could easily switch to
> > different tex sources , if they wish, without changing any settings.
> >
> > Your reservations against /usr/local as the directory for the symlink
> >
> are insignificant  since those users who share /usr/local over a network
> can easily adjust when being confronted with this symlink.
> Ok, this is it. I will not keep my mouth shut any longer (though I will
> for now refrain of correcting you in public). One reason I am ending
> support: I have come at the end of my patience with boorish thunderheads
> (of which there are very, very few, but those that are available have
> been
> very, very irritating).
> Basically, you seem to have no idea of the complications you are getting
> into / are talking about and your idea of supporting people seems to be
> that you will not bother.
> Your ideas of significant/insignificant seems to be based on your
> personal
> situation/ideas/capabilities and have nothing to do with other people.
> Your ideas of what is easy are based on what is easy for you. I have a
> surprise for you: what is easy for other people is determined not by you
> but by those other people. And I am sorry for you, but there is *no* way
> around that statement unless you are a complete idiot. There are things
> which you will find very, very easy and which completely baffle
> others who
> are by no means stupid, but who just have no experience/feeling/skills
> with the technical issues that are required. The same is true for what
> people fin aesthetically pleasing and what not. You, mny friend, are not
> the final judge on easy, nice, clean, good, etc. The real world is
> made up
> wityh conflicting meanings and emotions and finding an optimum there
> is a
> lot more difficult than just thinking you are the only judge on the
> matter. Not being able to understand that you are not the one who can
> decide for others what they shoul dthink/find makes you rather
> handicapped
> when you want to propose solutions.
> You are apparently also unable to see that the technical proposal at
> hand
> actually enables a complete shielding of the user from the
> intricacies of
> the technical layout underneath by having the option of a well
> abstracted
> multiple distributions setup (and I think this is useful even for non
> geeks in areas where development is taking place. It is nice to be
> able to
> switch and safely try something else out but to be able to switch back
> anyway). Would you not like to have your man pages give you the
> information of the programs that you are running (and not from some
> different distribution)? How is this simple link going to solve that?
> /Library/TeX/Distributions/Default/Man will always be correct and the
> only
> thing you have to change to switch is /Library/TeX/Distributions/Default
> (or Default.texdist I have to look into that)
> Claus, you probably mean well but have no idea how complex things can
> become and you also have no idea that you have no idea.
> In your tone I am reminded somewhat of a certain RMcD who has frequented
> the fora.
> You are probably very pissed off now. Good. Slow down, have a good
> decent
> German beer in a Kneipe and think about the one statement above you
> cannot
> circumvent (about not you but other people defining what is easy for
> themselves). You are probably a nicely logical animal. Please take that
> truth to its logical conclusion.
> G

1) I understand that what GW wrote belonged to the private domain
2) But CG dragged it to public
3)Which was not very nice
4) And not very smart
Since some of the subscribers could agree with GW letter (I did).
Now CG IMHO joined a very exclusive club  (I suspect that until now
only RMcD was its member).


Victor Ivrii, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto
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