[tex-live] ANNOUNCE: New TeX/gs releases for Mac OS X

Gerben Wierda sherlock@rna.nl
Thu, 28 Mar 2002 14:00:28 +0100

Dear everybody,

I am happy to announce the release of a new TeX/gs release and a new 
generic installer-mechanism. I have also released an update of the old 

New TeX Release Mechanism

The new TeX distribution mechanism is called i-Installer. i-Installer is 
a internet-aware installer program for Mac OS X. It can install 
i-Packages, update/load them from the internet. It can also be used as a 
dedicated i-Installer, where the i-Packages to install are part of the 
application. See http://www.rna.nl/ii.html for details.

For you TeX people, it is more interesting to know what all of this 
means for installing TeX. Installing with the dedicated TeX i-Installer 
has a few advantages:
- It is easy to choose a different ghostscript. Just open the right URL 
*with i-Installer* (http://www.ntg.nl/macosx-tex/i-packages/gs7.ii), and 
you can install GhostScript 7 instead of the default 6.01.
- It is easy to update only parts of an installation. You do not need to 
download and install the whole 50 MB, you can select to install just 
what you want (choice of TeX Foundation (40MB, updated less frequently), 
TeX Programs (6MB, updated more often) or GhostScript (6.01, updated 
almost never)
- It will be easier to produce specialized i-Installer i-Packages for 
stuff like CM-super and other additions. i-Packages may even just 
configure stuff instead of also download stuff. I can produce small 
update packages, if there are small bugfixes.
- You can inspect the contents of i-Packages, and especially inspect 
what the i-Package does on your system. Apart from running those 
scripts, which may or may not be available in an i-Package, i-Installer 
only unarchives an archive (and maintains a cache if necessary and 
writes a time stamp file for every installed i-Package).
- i-Packages come with their own Help information, and dedicated 
i-Installers (like the one for TeX and GhostScript) come with an overall 
Info file for the set of i-Packages which is automatically displayed at 
launch time.

So, where to get it? The best way is to go through 
http://www.rna.nl/tex.html. This explains the various TeX distribution 
methods and has links for dmg volumes. There are two i-Installer TeX/gs 

- TeX-thin.dmg is a 0.9MB volume that holds a thinned i-Installer for 
TeX/gs. That means that it has everything on board, except the actual 
archives. It will download these when needed. To be able to download 
stuff, it needs to be on a writable location; the volume it ships on is 
read-only, so I can trust it's content (for support purposes). 
Therefore, before you can install with the thinned dedicated 
i-Installer, you need to drag it to a writable location, e.g. your 
Desktop. During installation, the i-Installer will fatten itself. Once 
you have installed everything in it, it is equivalent to the fat 
i-installler. You can save it (say to a CD) and use it later again to 
get the same result.

- TeX-fat.dmg is a 51MB volume that holds a full i-Installer for TeX/gs. 
It can be installed directly from the read-only volume, but for 
updating, it needs a writable location, just like the thin installer.

If you already have a TeX installation from installing with 
TeXGSInstaller (from March), you can just update by installing just the 
TeX Programs i-Package. That means you only need a 6MB download (as 
opposed to a 50MB download) and it is best to download the thin volume.

New old-style TeXGSInstaller release

Since there is a bit of a lack of competition in non-unix-geek TeX 
installations, I decided to compete with myself ;-) In other words: I 
have also updated the old style monolithic TeXGSInstaller. The 
'chunkyness' of the output is gone. The package is called TeX.dmg. The 
best way is to go through http://www.rna.nl/tex.html and take one of the 
links there.


Both old-style and new-style installers have the same TeX installation 
on board: TeX Live Programs from March 24 (with additions), teTeX texmf 
tree from the end of january (with additions).

The available i-Packages are currently located at the Web Site of the 
Dutch TeX User Group. The connection sto this site are untested. During 
beta stage, there were some problems when the site used for beta testing 
was limiting user access. This leads to stalling downloads in 
i-Installer (and no message to my app, so there is nothing I can do 
about it), but it is safe to just abort the download and start again. 
Start again, is not the same as continue, there is no support for 
continuing aborted downloads.

i-Installer web site: http://www.rna.nl/ii.html
TeX distribution web site: http://www.rna.nl/tex.html