[OS X TeX] migration from Fink to Gerben Wierda's TeX

Jesse Hamner jhamner at emory.edu
Tue Feb 22 23:15:44 CET 2005

On Feb 22, 2005, at 4:56 PM, Andrei Sobolevskii wrote:

Greetings, Andrei:

> Please forgive me asking a question that may sound a bit arrogant. 
> Recently I migrated from a Linux box to Mac OS X and installed TeX 
> along with a number of other necessary utilities using the Fink 
> distribution.  Now that the dust has settled, I started to ask myself 
> if this choice was optimal.

As a multi-platform user myself, I understand that not being able to 
install anything you want in /usr/bin or even /usr/local/bin (gtk+, 
e.g.) can be a bit unsettling. Fink (and DarwinPorts) both take a 
flexible approach to working around the limitations Apple imposes on 
the end-users. I personally use DarwinPorts, but install most add-on 
packages myself, if possible (gtk+ is NOT one of those packages, by the 
way, and I had to install DarwinPorts to get gtk+).

> Thus the question: what could be advantages (if any) of migrating to 
> Gerben Wierda's TeX?  Do you think it would be a good idea?  For one 
> thing, it seems that the latter TeX distribution is supported better 
> in terms of getting up-to-date packages.  Is that right?  On the other 
> hand, nobody wants to destabilize an already working setup. Could both 
> TeXs live together on my Mac without conflicts for some transitional 
> period?  Did anybody perform this kind of migration?

Rather than risk trouble with two TeX installations, I took the 
cowards' way out and uninstalled Fink before using Gerben's outstanding 
i-installer. I had no trouble with installing TeX a second time.

I have a personal preference for Gerben's use of /usr/local/ for the 
installs. Also, I think you are correct that GWTeX has "nicer" support 
for add-on packages and is perhaps more aggressively maintained than 
Fink's teTeX. The OS X TeX list will be helpful either way, but I think 
most users have more experience with GWTeX (feel free to correct my 

> it is my impression that with Gerben Wierda's TeX I am going to 
> benefit more from Mac OS X's native support of Russian/Cyrillic type, 
> including fonts.

A colleague of mine who studies Russian politics uses a Mac for this 
reason. I hope your experience with the Mac's GUI will offset the 
restrictions it places on you.


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