[OS X TeX] MacTeX and LaTeX package documentation

Rowland McDonnell rjmm-lists1 at fireflyuk.net
Fri Oct 13 07:22:43 EDT 2006

> Rowland McDonnell wrote:
> > I've recently installed MacTeX, and I thought I'd take a look at the
> > current documentation for Babel.
> > 
> > The thing is, the documentation does not appear to have been
> > included with MacTeX:
> > 
> > Hattie:teTeX rowland$ sudo find / -name "babel.*"  
> Why did you put a dot in the name?

Because I was looking for `babel.dtx' (the source for the documentation)
or `babel.pdf' (the output from typesetting the source, which is the
documentation file).  babel.ins would have done me - telling me where to
find the source for the package.

> Without the dot you would have found 
> the "babel" directory in
> with the user.dvi inside, the one Franck indicated.

Well, yes, I suppose I would have done - but I did what I did for the
reasons above.

> > Password:
> > /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.local/tex/generic/tex4ht/babel.4ht
> > 
> Did you have a look at this file?


> It is inside "doc", so it hints at some documentation, and it is a
> html file, so it might contain links to further documentation, as
> indeed it does. 

Well, I looked at it, and didn't see any such link, which is why I did
the straightforward job of going to CTAN and grabbing the latest Babel,
so I had the full package, which is what I'd rather have.

I'm not at all keen on this texmf way of splitting things up.

>In particular, it has a link 
> to the pdf documentation that Bruno mentioned.

Where?   Oh!  I see - I've just spent about five minutes (yes, I timed
it, but not that carefully) fiddling about, and now I see that the line
of pictures under the description text are links.  I had no idea that
this was the case - it's not remotely obvious.  I thought that they were
just decoration.

Words to explain things, that's what I need - not strange pictures and
implications from directory structures and whatnot.

> So it is all right there at your fingertips.

Well it's all very hard to find and navigate around.  *IF* one happens
to be able to make the right guesses when looking, one can (with some
effort) find things out - but I've already got a pile of paper weighing
over 5lbs (it overloaded the kitchen scales) that I've printed out to
get me to the stage of starting to use MacTeX, and it's taken lots of
hunting and reading to get this far.

It's only there right at one's fingertips if one happens to know where
to look, what to type, and so on.

After all, I found it much easier to go to CTAN and install the latest
Babel than I did to find the path via the included `stuff' - that's
because MacTeX comes with such rotten documentation itself.

So don't be so quick to put me down, eh?  Especially not on what's
supposed to be a technical mailing list.


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