[OS X TeX] Building new formats (MacTeX)

Gerben Wierda Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Sun Sep 17 19:33:16 EDT 2006

On Sep 17, 2006, at 22:23 , 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.

Like Installer.app ? Software Update? (which uses the Installer.app  
framework), any VISE installer like what Microsoft uses? ;-)

Sorry, could not resist. i-Installer is not a perfect tool, by far,  
and much said against it (on documentation and feedback by the  
program) has merit. But while you might not have the faintest idea  
what it is doing (and I can understand that because it is difficult  
to get at that level of understanding), at least in the case of i- 
Installer it is (in principle) *possible* to get that understanding  
because everything in a package can be inspected. You can learn perl  
and read tex.configure and then you know *exactly* what the TeX i- 
Package does during configuration.

> These `management tools' (I've come across things like updmap,  
> fmtutil,
> and a couple of others) are barely mentioned in any documentation, let
> alone adequately documented

This is true. There is scarcely any documetation on fmtutil, updmap  
etc. And if you look on the web it is even worse: much of it is out  
of date and has become invalid. updmap is the worst. There is much  
documentation out there that has been invalid for more than 2-3 years.

What is being done in the TeX i-Package is nothing more than an  
attempt at a somewhat friendlier interface for these tools. The real  
work is still mostly being done by these tools. E.g. the TeX i- 
Package sets page size for printing via the texconfig cli tool.

Still, you are perfectly right: these tools are rather undocumented.


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