Re: Documentation (was Re: [OS X TeX] Kanbun (漢文) and French...)

Jean-Christophe Helary fusion at
Sun Jan 4 12:24:45 EST 2009

On lundi 05 janv. 09, at 01:59, Herbert Schulz wrote:

> It is NOT meant to be a customized set of programs just for Mac OS X  
> since one of the wonderful things about TeX is that it is platform  
> independent.


We are not discussing TeX as a software package, for which indeed  
platform independence is not a trivial matter.

We are discussing independence from unreasonable (now, in 2009)  
default settings. What was perfectly understandable choices when TeX  
was created are obsolete today, thanks to the development of all  
encompassing encodings, and of fonts that cover big chunck of them.

When people write papers in Tex and deliver them in Tex using very  
strict style sheets that _will_ work on the rendering machine, they  
don't give a damn about what the default font is. Because the style  
sheet (or template) that they use already sets everything for them.

But when an individual works on a document that will be rendered on  
that individual's machine for distribution (and not mainly for  
modification) then the default values matter. If the default values  
require a non trivial amount of searching and tweaking before the job  
can be started then there is a problem.

The Mac OSX ecosystem is stable enough that one can safely assume that  
most users will have trivial access to UTF-8 along with corresponding  

That should be the default expected behavior of _any_ software package  
that runs on the Mac.

Anything else is just bad excuses.

Or give me a plausible example where having an OSX specific default  
font for MacTex would be a compatibility issue with the rest of the  
TeX world. After all, if it is that easy to change a font (or an  
encoding) for beginners, it should be equally easy for non beginners  
to put Computer Modern in Latin-1 or whatever back it that pleases  
them !!! But let the default be UTF-8 with a font that automaticaly  
covers the whole Latin range without having to specify anything but  
the class of the document !!! There is no technical reason for that  
not to be the case.

Jean-Christophe Helary

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list