[OS X TeX] Best place to put updated Babel?

Rowland McDonnell rjmm-lists1 at fireflyuk.net
Fri Oct 13 23:40:16 EDT 2006

I'm using a recently downloaded MacTeX, which doesn't have a complete
Babel distribution.

Because I wanted to have a complete Babel distribution, including
installer files and full documentation, I downloaded the current Babel
distribution from CTAN and put it all in this directory, which is a
system-wide additional texmf tree searched before all directory trees
except for `this user's texmf tree':


The original MacTeX installed Babel resides here (with the documentation
in a different folder):


On the one hand, it's unlikely that the Babel that I've added will be
messed up by an installer or anything else (what I'm seeking to avoid),
but on the other hand, if I should happen to upgrade at some time (I
know nothing about this process yet), I'd have to remember to `unplug'
my added Babel because it'll probably be out of date.  Then again, I'd
probably want to re-download the current Babel and so on to get the full
installer package with the full documentation - but that would take me
remembering to do so, and I can't use my own mnemnonic directory
structure to help me keep track of such things any more, because I'm now
constrained to use TDS conventions (at least to a limited extent).

[I've been using OzTeX and CMacTeX up until now]

So what I'm wondering is: is it sensible of me to put the updated Babel
where I've put it, or should I have put all the components in the
standard places:



And are there any downsides to not following the strict letter of the
TDS by keeping all the Babel files together in the one place?  I can't
see any - admittedly, the automated `stuff' for accessing documentation
and whatnot won't succeed in finding the documentation I've got
available for Babel now, but I don't care about that because I know
where to find the documentation and I find it much easier to just go to
the right directory and open the file I want.

The alternative seems to be going via the texdoc system, but texdoc's no
use at all for browsing - it's slightly useful if you've been told what
to type or have found out somehow, but useless otherwise.  I can't see
me having much use for texdoc - except perhaps as a more convenient
method of finding particular files than using the find command from the
command line.

So I don't see any downside to me keeping the documentation with the
source code and installed code all in one directory - or have I missed
some subtlety somewhere?

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