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

Alain Schremmer schremmer.alain at
Sun Jan 4 12:32:42 EST 2009

On Jan 4, 2009, at 11:59 AM, Herbert Schulz wrote:

> The point of MacTeX is to provide an easy, one click method of  
> installing TeX Live as well as some GUI applications, Ghostscript,  
> the convert utility used by tex4ht and a simple way to choose  
> between installed TeX distributions (e.g., TeX Live 2007 and 2008).  
> It will also optionally install Latin Modern Open Type Fonts in / 
> Library/Fonts/ so they can be used in other applications.
> 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. (By the way, using some of the neat fonts  
> available on the Mac via xelatex or purchased fonts, like my  
> favorite Lucida Bright, with (pdf)latex does break this somewhat.)  
> I'm amazed that files I wrote back in the late 1980's under MSDOS  
> still compile without error although much has changed and advanced  
> (especially graphics) with the distribution.

I don't quite get it:

1) A LaTeX file can/should be readable on any platform by anybody  
with any LaTeX installation. (Which is why, I am using as few  
packages as possible even though they are not difficult to install  
and no font other than Computer Modern because I am not able to  
install them and so imagine that others wouldn't be either.)


2) There can be no platform independent method of installing LaTeX  
and my understanding of MacTeX is that it is, indeed, a method of  
installing LaTeX on a Mac.

The issue that Helary raised, though, which I hadn't realized until  
last night, is that, out of the box. MacTeX is English-centric.

Does it really have to be? More precisely, what would be the cost of  
a dialog box offering a choice of "base language"?

I had assumed that in XeTeX you could just choose your "base  
language"—I guess because you could choose your font—but it would  
seem that it is more complicated than that.

Best regards

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