[OS X TeX] Building new formats (MacTeX)

Gary L. Gray gray at engr.psu.edu
Sun Sep 17 19:53:34 EDT 2006

On Sep 17, 2006, at 7:32 PM, Adam R. Maxwell wrote:

> On Sep 17, 2006, at 13:23, Rowland McDonnell wrote:
>> [I'm not going to use some software that does what i-installer does:
>> make large changes to the data on my computer without me having the
>> faintest idea what it's doing.
>> Isn't that normal prudent computer management?]
> Prudent, perhaps, but not typical; Apple's Installer makes large  
> changes to the data on your computer every time you install a  
> software update, for instance (anyone remember that broken iTunes  
> update fiasco?).  MacTeX has the same black-box limitations.  As  
> far as that goes, any installer program does, which is why I prefer  
> drag-and-drop installation.  Unfortunately, TeX and associated  
> command-line software doesn't lend itself to drag-and-drop installs.

You make an excellent point that I have been meaning to bring up for  
some time to Mr. McDonnell, that is, lots of software installs lots  
of stuff all over tarnation. If he has MS Office, Adobe products, VPN  
clients, etc., etc., they all install a lot of stuff that one has  
little or no control over. Even if he doesn't have anything but Mac  
OS X (which he must have or we wouldn't be having this discussion),  
as you say, it installs a lot of stuff he has no control over.

On a related note, there isn't anything that prevents an app that you  
install via drag-and-drop from installing a bunch of stuff when you  
first run it. It can install a bunch of stuff in your home directory  
and not need a password or it can install stuff requiring a password.  
Either way, it can be very busy behind the scenes.

For me anyway, it all comes down to trusting the source. I trust  
Gerben, so I use i-Installer and/or MacTeX to install my TeX  

That's my 2 farthings.

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