[OS X TeX] final tex live 2007

Alain Schremmer Schremmer.Alain at gmail.com
Tue Feb 20 18:30:44 EST 2007

Richard Koch wrote:

> Mark,
> On Feb 20, 2007, at 10:56 AM, M A wrote:
>> Now that Tex Live 2007 is official (as of the last day or so), I'm
>> thinking of installing it
>> 1. Is the Tex Live 2007 at http://www.tug.org/~koch/NewPackages.html
>> the same as the one from CTAN?
> They are the same.
>> 2. How literally true is "unmodified" in the "full TeXLive
>> distribution from TUG, unmodified, 618.4 MB" statement at ~koch? The
>> CTAN package is some 900MB, but the koch one is 600MB. Is this only
>> because non-Mac platform specific stuff was removed (and some
>> compression differences between dmg and zip)? Would the installs from
>> either source really result in exactly the same set-up with respect to
>> binaries linked from /usr/texbin, the maze of links in /Library, the
>> distribution preference pane, TEXMFHOME being ~/Library/texmf (I
>> thought Tex Live uses something like ~/tex by default?), etc?
> The MacTeX TeXLive-2007 package is constructed by installing the full 
> TeXLive-2007
> with only two changes from the default configuration:
> 1) Binaries for both PowerPC and Intel are installed (but of course not
> binaries for irrelevant processors)
> 2) The local texmf tree set to ~/Library/texmf rather than the default 
> /texmf.
> This is because Apple design guidelines do not allow programs to install
> files at the top level of the user's home directory and because ~/ 
> Library/texmf
> has become the customary place for the local tree on the Mac.
> There are several reasons that it is better to install with MacTeX 
> rather than the
> TeXLive install script:
> 1) After the TeXLive install script runs, it prints a message telling the
> user to adjust their PATH variable appropriately. But the MacTeX package
> adjusts both PATH and MAN parameters automatically.
> PATHs are adjusted by modifying /etc/csh.login and /etc/profile using 
> exactly
> the script Gerben Wierda uses in i-Installer (i.e., we stole his 
> script). If
> a user doesn't install with MacTeX and instead modifies local shell
> configuration files, their old PATH configuration via Gerben will
> remain in place with possibly confusing results.
> 2) The TeXLive install script does not install the data structure by
> Gerben Wierda and Jerome Laurens supporting multiple TeX distributions
> on a machine, and it does not install Jerome's TeX Distribution control
> panel. But MacTeX installs these things.
> If you install using the TeXLive install script, you need to configure 
> GUI applications
> by giving the new path to binaries, which will be /usr/local/texlive/ 
> 2007/bin/i386-darwin
> (replace i386 with powerpc if you have that processor).
> If you install using MacTeX, you also need to reconfigure GUI 
> applications. This time
> the path to binaries is /usr/texbin. Actually this is a symbolic link; 
> the binaries
> are still installed where the TeXLive install script puts them.
> For those who have not been following this discussion, let me explain 
> the data
> structure briefly. After you install TeXLive-2007 with MacTeX, you 
> will find that your
> old teTeX-based installation from Gerben remains intact; if you 
> installed his more
> recent gwTeX, that also remains intact. You'll find that you have a new
> control panel named TeX Distributions listing all of your TeX 
> distributions. For
> instance, Gerben's old distribution is listed as "gwTeX-2003-2005", 
> his new
> distribution is "gwTeX" and TeXLive is "TeXLive-2007". The active 
> distribution will
> be selected in the control panel's list. If you make a different 
> distribution active in the control panel,
> then automatically all of your GUI applications will be reconfigured 
> (because the /usr/texbin
> link will be reset), and your PATH and MAN variables will change 
> appropriately.
> So it is easy to return to an old distribution if there are surprises 
> in the new one.
> (I argued bitterly against this data structure until I saw the light. 
> Now I think it is
> fantastic.)
> (To be honest, /usr/texbin is not reset; the data structure is very 
> ingenious and
> reconfigures by making one small change in the data structure, and 
> then magically ...)
> MacTeX determines your default paper size during installation and 
> configures
> TeX's default paper size using the commands
> sudo texconfig-sys paper letter
> sudo texconfig-sys dvips paper letter
> (where "letter" may be replaced with "a4"). The TeXLive script does 
> not configure
> paper size. Instead it recommends that users configure manually, and 
> recommends
> using only the first command.
> The advantage of the additional "sudo texconfig-sys dvips paper 
> letter" is that
> dvips then adds a postscript command "letter" (or "a4") to output, 
> which is used by
> ghostscript or Apple's distiller to correctly convert postscript files 
> to pdf format.
> But some printers do not understand the "letter" or "a4" command. So 
> if you
> send TeX postscript to the printer directly and this causes trouble, 
> reconfigure
> using only the first command.

This is the "cookbook" I had been waiting for all along :-) . (As a 
result, I am now thinking about, actually even seriously considering, 
upgrading.) However:

a) I am still on 10.3.9 and will upgrade to 10.4.x some time after 
Leopard has made its entrance, say in late summer. How does this mesh 
with the above? Specifically: if I upgrade via MacTex now, while still 
on 10.3.9, what will happen when I upgrade to 10.4.x? Will I have to 
reinstall MacTeX?

b) Since I am using "letter", does this mean I won't have anything to do 
with the terminal? And, what if my printer doesn't understand what it is 
commanded to do?

Once again, the above "explanations" are (almost) install-idiot 
proof—and I know thereof I am speaking: if it hadn't been for their 
equivalent a couple of years ago, I would still be swearing at MS Word 
or, a lot more probably, would have quit writing entirely.

Very, very grateful regards.

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