[OS X TeX] personal package : following 2

Alan Munn amunn at gmx.com
Thu Dec 23 21:21:29 EST 2010

On Dec 23, 2010, at 8:58 PM, Claus Gerhardt wrote:

> What would be achieved, if the texmf folder and a subtree would be  
> installed.

First, it would put all the folders in the right place, including the  
relevant subfolders, e.g. bibtex/bib and bibtex/bst which are both  
required, otherwise bibtex won't find the relevant files.

> Those we are concerned about wouldn't know that it exists, and, even  
> they did, they still wouldn't know where to place personal sty  
> files, etc., and all these questions, which could easily be answered  
> by reading the "What is installed" file or simply by googling, would  
> still be asked.

It's a lot easier to put things in a folder that exists (having been  
created already) than it is to put things in a folder that you have to  
create (plus all of its internal structure.)  And the people for whom  
this would be useful are the ones who say "I need to put a personal  
style file somewhere, where do I put it?".  They may be aware of  
personal files having used them on another platform, and just need to  
know the Mac way to do things.  If you're coming from Windows, this is  
not necessarily obvious, and is compounded by the fact that Windows  
users (in my experience with students) often know less about their  
computer's file structure than others.

When we answer ~/Library/texmf, and that folder doesn't exist,  
confusion often occurs.  On the other hand, if we provide a one-click  
solution, (as little app below), we make things a lot easier for new  

> Since these questions have already be answered sufficiently and in  
> great detail over and over again, we should pick one default link  
> where the answer can be found and whenever the question is asked  
> again simply provide the link without any further explanation.

But our experience is that such explanations are not as obvious as you  
and I might think. Plus, it's a pain in the neck to manually create  
all the relevant folders in the Finder.


Here's a link to an application that does two things:

1. If there is no ~/Library/texmf folder, it creates one, and  
populates it with all of the most useful sub-folders. (If one already  
exists, it reports that and doesn't do anything else.)

2. It offers a button that opens the texmf folder in the Finder, so  
that people can get to it quickly. (This part is independent of  
whether it creates the folder or not, so the application can also be  
used to quickly find the folder.)


Unzip the file and put it into your applications folder.  Schremmer  
can be the first guinea pig. :-)


> On Dec 23, 2010, at 20:18, Alan Munn wrote:
>> Since this is a problem that comes up from time to time, would it  
>> be possible for the MacTeX installer to check if the ~/Library/ 
>> texmf folder exists, and if it doesn't create one with the  
>> appropriate folder structure?

Alan Munn
amunn at gmx.com

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