[OS X TeX] MacTex Distribution Updates?

Jasper Knockaert jknockaert at feweb.vu.nl
Fri Nov 16 14:02:07 EST 2007


Michael Roessner schreef op 15-11-2007 09:47:

> is there anywhere a announcement of new releases of the "MacTeX 
> Distribution" anywhere on the http://www.tug.org/mactex/ Website?
> There is actual the information that MacTeX based on TeX Live 2007 is 
> released in Februrary 2007 (http://tug.org/twg/mactex/) but if i 
> download the .DMG File, the installer notifies me that the MacTeX 
> Distribution is from September 2007. I found no information to this case 
> on the website. So if i not downloaded the whole .dmg file - maybe i did 
> not recognize that there is a new version of the distribution out in the 
> world.
> On the MacTeX Updates and Additional MacTeX Packages site 
> (http://www.tug.org/mactex/morepackages.html) there is also no 
> information about the September Release of the whole distribution.
> I have with the MacTeX TeX Live 2007 distribution no possibilites to 
> update automatically the different packages which are changed, or?
> The alternative is using the Gerben Wierda's Distribution and check for 
> updates over the i-installer.app.
> But Gerben Wierda seems not to update his distribution anymore. The last 
> Updates are from spring 2007.
> So, is it better to switch from gwTeX to TeX Live 2007 from the MacTeX 
> Distribution?
> There are plans to release an update programm like i-installer.app for 
> the MacTex TeX Live Distribution?

Much has been written about keeping up-to-date your LaTeX distro plus 
friends. But still it is difficult to decide on the right approach.

As for the LaTeX core (let's call it gwTeX), you probably best stick to 
the annual TeX Live release cycle. There are basically two binary 
installers available, the MacTeX one and i-installer. I prefer the 
latter as it allows for more customisation without having to dig in 
configuration files (e.g. font inclusion for microtype). But it has the 
drawback of being clear about its unsupported status, leaving open the 
question about future updates as well as Leopard compatibility.

When it comes to installing and updating individual LaTeX packages, 
probably miktex is your best friend. It's rather efficient in use, and 
its package repository is state-of-the-art.

The GUI applications can be installed through MacTeX, or downloaded 
manually. To keep them up-to-date, you subscribe to an announce mailing 
list or rss-feed. Not much can go wrong here.

As for the many command-line tools that smoothen your LaTeX work flow 
(such as ImageMagick, LaTeX2rtf, Ghostscript and others), it is unclear 
what is the best of the many approaches available. MacTeX provides for a 
one-click installation process, but it's documentation is limited about 
both versioning and their update policy, and an efficient update 
mechanism is lacking. Fink does provide for such a mechanism, but there 
you have to make the tricky choice between it's stable branch which 
provides you with outdated builds for most tools, and the unstable 
branch which is up-to-date but provides limited information with respect 
to the development status of the packages. I-installer is beginning to 
lag behind current releases and is probably not (anymore) the way to go. 
Of course you can build everything yourself, while a little bit 
adventurous this approach leaves you less dependent when it comes to 
keeping everything up-to-date.

Best regards


More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list