[OS X TeX] MacTeX-2008

Dr. Clea F. Rees cfrees at imapmail.org
Fri Sep 5 07:53:39 EDT 2008

On 05/09/08, you seem to have written:

> Le 5 sept. 08 ? 02:13, Dr. Clea F. Rees a ?crit :
>> But the installation has gone wrong and I'm not sure what to do. At
>> present, my older version of Perl/Tk is installed but I also have the
>> temporary files listed above in /Library/Perl. (Note: not in
>> subdirectories of /Library/Perl.)
> Coming late in the game: one more thing should be noted if you have a 
> previous installation of Perl/Tk.
> The standard installation procedure, as documented at 
> <http://www.lehigh.edu/~sol0/Macintosh/X/ptk/>, installs the 5 executable 
> scripts in /usr/bin; MacTeX-2008, by contrast, installs these scripts in 
> /usr/local/bin. Normally /usr/bin comes before /usr/local/bin in PATH. Hence, 
> unless manually removed by you, the previous version of the scripts in 
> /usr/bin will take precedence over those installed by MacTeX in 
> /usr/local/bin.
> Why does MacTeX do that? I plead guilty for this. Initially the Perl/Tk 
> install package prepared by Dick Koch installed everything exactly as the 
> standard installation procedure, namely scripts in /usr/bin. Dick's idea was 
> precisely that people would get exactly the same as with the standard 
> install, for compatibility purposes. I asked that /usr/local/bin was used 
> instead, since on the Mac /usr/bin is normally reserved for OS components and 
> local additions are normally put elsewhere (generally /usr/local/bin, or 
> /opt/local/bin for MacPorts and /sw/bin for Fink). That change was finally 
> accepted and Dick modified his installer accordingly.

That's helpful - thanks. I'm still not sure what to do but I know more
about my setup. So I now have the following:
- Perl/Tk 804.027 is installed in /Library/Perl/5.8.6/darwin-...
- executables for that version are in /usr/bin
- Perl/Tk 804.028 is not installed but I have the temporary files in
   /Library/Perl (from MacTeX) and a compiled but uninstalled version
   in my cpan build directory which fails one test from the test suite
- executables for that version are in /usr/local/bin
- /usr/local/bin takes precedence over /usr/bin (on *my* machine i.e.
   not-standard) most of the time 
- so for most purposes I've got 804.028 executables with 804.027
   library stuff

I think MacTeX is quite right to install in /usr/local/bin in general
although I'm not sure about perl stuff because that often seems to end
up elsewhere although it should not.

What I am inclined to do:
- force the install of 804.028 in cpan ignoring the test failure
- delete MacTeX's temporary files from /Library/Perl
- delete MacTeX's installed executables from /usr/local/bin (for
That way, I will end up with 804.028 in the default locations (for
Perl/Tk). I think that is probably better in my case because I do use
cpan to install stuff and I don't want the executables in
/usr/local/bin taking precedence over any later updates I install that
way (and they would take precedence with my setup of PATH etc.)

This is the best option I can think of right now.

I do think the MacTeX installer for Perl/Tk should ideally handle an
existing install more gracefully than this or, at the very least, that
the documentation should say something about it. I did not just install
blindly - I did read the documentation first - so I, at least, would
have appreciated some sort of warning. But nothing's perfect!

Is there some compelling reason for the installer not to upgrade an
existing Perl/Tk installation? That's what I would have expected it to


> To be honest, I did not suspect that Perl/Tk was so widely used that there 
> could be OS X users having already installed it (before installing MacTeX, I 
> mean). I hope this does not cause too much inconvenience.
> Bruno Voisin

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