[OS X TeX] latexit issues

Peter Dyballa Peter_Dyballa at Web.DE
Sun Jul 20 16:54:53 EDT 2008

Am 20.07.2008 um 17:08 schrieb Owen Densmore:

> It seems to me that LaTeXiT should not be executing bash, but the  
> initial
> bourne shell, sh.

Actually this isn't such a bad idea! Since LaTeXiT adds /sw and /opt  
(Fink and MacPorts) to PATH there is much likelihood that *some* TeX  
installation is found – and *some* means by chance. This will become  
particularly difficult when you have TeX Live installed. Version from  
2006, version from 2007, and soon version from 2008.

An up-to-date LaTeXiT (1.15 beta) gives a back door: “Composition  
configurations" – a kind of set of programmes and utilities to deal  
with particular demands (I don't understand this completely, maybe  
it's meant to support METAPOST or PSTricks, I tried to set up support  
for two different TeX Live versions). Since you have to fill in path  
names of your utilities, LaTeXiT knows from this which elements have  
to be added to (default) PATH. And there is more real support for  
this PATH issues: the option to set scripts or such to pre- or  
middle- or post-process (no idea when it might be needed and for what  
purpose). These should give all PATH components that are needed  
besides the default set.

> I realize many systems, including Mac, use bash for sh, but in that  
> case,
> the shell is called with this invocation flag:
>   --norc Do  not  read  and  execute  the	personal  initialization   
> file
>     ~/.bashrc  if  the  shell  is interactive.  This option is on by
>     default if the shell is invoked as sh.

D'accord – it only does not solve the PATH problem. Which is the  
important issue. And besides this, the user should read the  
documentation and set up the shell that it works correctly at anytime.

> Also, I'm not sure avoiding my interactive startup would make a  
> difference
> because of these experiments:
> 1 - First, I created a new account on my Mac and tried LaTeXiT  
> there and it
> worked fine.  This shows that my TeX install, which is global,  
> works as it
> should.

This was never questioned.

> 2 - In my account, I move all the .bashxx files off to the side so  
> that the
> system should not be reading them.  When I do this, I do not get an  
> the same
> error as above, but I do a tiny error message in the display pane.   
> It does
> not say the usual about see the Log file.  I even tried this with a  
> reboot
> just to make sure the initial login didn't also use the .bashxx files.

A coarse try could be in Terminal:

	grep 'some part of the error message' ~/.bash*

The problem is that this 'some part of the error message' has to  
exist in that RC file. Could be LaTeXiT's LOG gives better clues. One  
try, knowing that this can break down proper operation, is to  insert  
into each ~/.bash* file (except ~/.bash_history) a statement like

	echo "Hello from <file name>"

This can also help to find the file that causes the lasting error,  
since until the next Hello message you're still in the previous file.

Anyway, you should take care that you set up bash according to the  
documented recommendations – which is hard particularly in case of  
bash with its many confusing moods of operation (interactive/non- 
interactive, login/non-login, and all combinations).



You can learn many things from children.  How much patience you have,  
for instance.
				– Franklin P. Jones

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