[OS X TeX] MacTeX-2008; download sites and some answers

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Mon Sep 1 17:50:31 EDT 2008


Re: download sites. Please wait for the CTAN multiplexer site to  
become active. That should happen tomorrow or the next day. Last year  
we gave out a few specific links for downloading; this caused  
pandaemonium as servers became unresponsive to anyone. The Mac  
community has very good relations with other developers in TUG, but we  
need to be good citizens (particularly because many of the best  
features in TeX Live were developed by people working on other  

If we use the multiplexer site, then the people running CTAN have  
control and know how to handle problems. It is all mysterious to me.

Re: questions. A lot are answered on the new http: www.tug.org/mactex  
site. But a particularly good set of questions came from Clea F. Rees,  
so let me answer those here.

On Sep 1, 2008, at 1:45 PM, Dr. Clea F. Rees wrote:

> I notice that the new MacTeX includes various things which were
> previously packaged separately and/or handled differently. For  
> example,
> Ghostscript and ImageMagick.
> This prompts a couple of questions (trying to satisfy my curiosity  
> in the absence of an installer to dissect):
> 1.	Will the installer overwrite installations in /usr/local?

These additions are in subpackages, so by using custom install, you  
can choose to install some and keep old versions of others. The answer  
to the specific question is "yes." In the case of Ghostscript, this  
should cause absolutely no problems. Go to


for a document explaining exactly how the Ghostscript package works  
and why it is essentially the same as Gerben's version.

In the case of ImageMagick, we install a very small subset of what  
Gerben installs, and we don't touch his shared libraries. So I think  
the essential effect is to replace his "convert" with ours.
> Related...
> 2.	What, if anything, will the installer install and/or delete in / 
> usr/local _outside_ of /usr/local/texlive/2008?

The MacTeX site has a document listing exactly what is installed and  
> 3.	Is it possible/advisable to configure the installation to use
> existing installations of these associated utilities rather than
> installing its own?

Use custom install
> I'm assuming the installer will not touch the contents of
> /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local but it seems worth asking:

If the installer discovers an existing /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local,  
then it will not touch it (even if, for example, this directory turns  
out to be empty). But if no such directory exists, then the installer  
will create an empty texmf tree at this spot. This is exactly what the  
TeX Live install script would have done.
> 4.	Is that a safe assumption?
> I'm guessing the installer will also leave /usr/local/texlive/2007
> alone but am not sure:
> 5.	Is that correct?

Yes. Indeed, Gerben and Jerome's TeX Distribution data structure  
really comes into its own this year, because you can safely install  
TeX Live 2008, even if you are in the middle of a long and important  
project, since a single button click will return you to TeX Live 2007.  
If you use TeXShop (or almost any other front end), you don't have to  
close documents or anything. Typeset with TeX Live 2008. Is there an  
error? If so, use the TeX Distribution panel to switch to TeX Live  
2007. Typeset again. Is there still an error (usually there is for  
me). Then it's your fault, not the distribution's fault!
> Possibly not a matter for MacTeX/texlive...
> 6.	What is the current status/likely future of gtamacfonts?
> 7.	Is anybody extending it/interested in extending it?

By very specific choice, MacTeX installs the full TeX Live EXACTLY  
with no additions and no subtractions. So gtamacfonts is not included.  
Making a package to install gtamacfonts for TeX Live would be a good  
project for someone else. Note that gtamacfonts presents copyright  
problems in the sense that it takes Apple copyrighted fonts and  
configures them so TeX can use them. This isn't a problem in i- 
Installer because i-IInstaller takes the user's own copy of the fonts  
and applies the font utilities on the spot. But you couldn't, for  
example, just convert the fonts and then put them in an install  
package. So you'll have to repeat some of what Gerben did, including  
installing font utilities.
> If anybody can help satisfy my curiosity, that'd be great. Otherwise,
> I'll just have to be patient...

Dick Koch

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