[OS X TeX] personal package : following 2

Alain Schremmer schremmer.alain at gmail.com
Sat Dec 25 11:51:25 EST 2010

On Dec 25, 2010, at 10:20 AM, Alan Munn wrote:

> I feel I'm being attacked for trying to help :-(.

I really don't think so. What is happening, I think, is nothing  
personal but just the usual reaction of the "anointed", something  
along "Hey, I had to learn it, why can't you?" I find the same  
reaction among mathematicians: By presenting mathematics in less than  
all its splendid rigor, you somehow debase it. Witness what happened  
to Poincaré. In my experience, though, both in mathematics and on  
this list, slowly but surely, people change.

> First, in the series of e-mails that spawned this discussion, no  
> one actually pointed to it, and the OP certainly didn't find it.
> Second, if you show that answer to an average Mac user, my bet is  
> they will have no clue as to what it says, for a couple of reasons:  
> (i) it assumes you understand that folders inside folders are  
> represented by the '/' notation (not at all obvious to someone who  
> has only used the finder.) (ii) it talks about "the standard TeX  
> conventions", which is about as vague as could possibly be. And  
> those "standard TeX conventions" are outlined in a pretty dense 20  
> page document (texdoc tds if you're interested) which most of us  
> here have probably never actually read.
> Third, again, for users used to the Finder, it really doesn't  
> actually tell you what to do.
>> Isn't this an opportunity for learning something about the file  
>> system since eventually you'd want to know that to understand at  
>> least some of what is talked about on the list.
> Perhaps, but surely someone's goal has nothing to do with  
> understanding what gets said on this list, but actually doing the  
> work that they need a working TeX system to do.  That we end up  
> understanding what gets said on this list is a (mostly irrelevant)  
> side effect.
> All I proposed was that there be an easy way for new users to set  
> up the folder structure. In fact, one could argue that having the  
> structure pre-set, *aids* people to understand it.  Jumping through  
> the hoops of independently having to create the folders isn't  
> necessary for learning that TeX looks in certain places for certain  
> files.  Again, understanding TeX and all its intricacies isn't the  
> goal, the goal is to be able to use TeX as a tool to do other  
> things.  After all, that's why  TeXShop was written, and the great  
> one click MacTeX installer.  Or should we go back to using the  
> command line for everything?

See? Only five years or six years ago, "the great one click MacTeX  
installer" would have been rejected out of hand.

Sympathetic regards

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