[OS X TeX] LinkBack/LaTeX on Mac OS X Feedback

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Tue Feb 6 17:38:16 EST 2007

On Feb 6, 2007, at 23:23, Alain Schremmer wrote:

> Maarten Sneep wrote:
>> I believe there were contacts before between the TUG and Apple on   
>> possibly including a TeX distribution in Mac OS X. However the  
>> size  requirements (about 20 MB, iirc) were such that I think  
>> we're better  off doing it ourself (using TeX Live as a basis)
> I think that it would be useful to distinguish between what would  
> be beneficial to us and what might attract new users.

While it might seem attractive to have a base install of TeX as  
standard, a cripled install will do more harm than good. That, if I  
understand the argument correctly, was the reason the thank for the  
honor last time Apple offered something like this.

>> . Having Apple  include TeX would put us in the same situation as  
>> Perl/Python/Ruby:  nice that it is there as a standard, but  
>> serious user will always  want to upgrade (while you're at it,  
>> could you ask about putting  these wider open source efforts not  
>> in /System/Library but in / Library, so that upgrading those  
>> somponents becomes easier).
>> If they are no longer tied to the 20 MB, then a full TeX Live  
>> would  be the way forward, although feedback to the developers  
>> regarding  changes would be needed (local trees, path names, etc).
> So, inasmuch as I understand these things—which is not much in any  
> case, I would say that a "minimal" TeX Live, ready out of the box  
> with a few basic switches (TeXShop, Context, XeTeX, etc), would be  
> the way to go with, at the same time, the possibility to upgrade,  
> add, etc at all times.
> For instance, most newcomers, like me, are likely to be without old  
> PS files and so quite satisfied with pdf output and quite content  
> to upgrade LaTeX along with OS X. On the other hand,  it would  
> certainly be a terrible error to make things difficult for those  
> who do have PS files and/or need more sophisticated installations.

Which would be annoying, since pstricks (in use by far too many) will  
not work then. Minimal installs have been tried, and they fail. Some  
users may be able to create a minimal install for their use, but  
something that comes with the OS should be hassle free for the great  
majority of users.

I don't think that Apple should include GUI TeX-related tools with  
the OS, so no TeXShop.

If Apple offered to include TeX Live or MacTeX on the DVD with the  
developer tools, I think that would be very nice.


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