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