[OS X TeX] New TeX i-Package release in *EXPERIMENTAL* i-Directory

Doug Fields dfields-macosx-tex-0205 at pexicom.com
Sun Feb 27 02:40:44 CET 2005

> The question is where to keep the configuration stuff (and the compiled
> fmt files) for each user. I find the HOME directory a bad idea. So I am
> thinking about keeping it in
> /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.localuser.username with a symlink in your
> home directory (this is a different tree than ~/Library/texmf)

I'm a total newcomer to the whole TeX thing (and boy do I wish I had 
begun using it 15 years ago after having read through the 
"not-so-small" LaTeX tutorial), but I would like to add a few cents 
about this:

Please put user-specific stuff in ~/Library. If it's not appropriate 
for ~/Library/texmf (which I've only used to install TeXShop as per 
it's installation instruction), please put it in another 
~/Library/somethingElse instead. I would strongly prefer to keep 
user-specific data out of the whole /usr/local directory structure. 

1) Backing up my data should be (theoretically) as easy as backing up 
	a) Only I should be the one making symlinks from any part of that 
directory structure to elsewhere, in my opinion

2) The Mac way seems to be to put things like that in ~/Library
	a) I'm only a year into a switch from Linux (and that other OS) but it 
seems to work well for me (Wish I switched when OS X 10.1 was the 

3) /usr/local should really be, in my opinion, used for package 
installation and limited system-wide configuration of those packages as 
a system-only directory. (I prefer the more "modern" /opt, but no 
matter - I greatly prefer things that work over religious issues like 

I'm sure you'll come up with the right thing, and thank you for your 
i-Installer and TeX for the MacOS distribution. This is the first 
non-fink thing I've used that didn't come as a drag-install or a 
.pkg/.mpkg. I'm a long-time Debian user, so fink came naturally.

May I ask a non-sequiturial question? (To modify a Latin term...) I 
read about 10 or so sites about different TeX packages for the Mac, and 
settled on your i-Installer rather than the fink package. However, it 
was not clear what the pros and cons were, and the fact that your 
i-Installer was mirrored at my alma-mater was my arbitrary way of 
making my choice. It might be helpful if you could put up a brief 
comparison between your TeX and the other MacOS TeX packages on your 
site for the newcomer to TeX, and perhaps one for just the TeX familiar 
but newcomer to TeX on MacOS.

Also, what's the difference between the Experimental and the 
non-Experimental "2005 Devel." install? I'm pretty sure that people for 
whom it's relevant know the answer, but as a newcomer I don't. But, 
also as a newcomer, I'd prefer to have to unlearn as little as 
possible. (For example, when I installed MediaWiki, I used a 1.4 beta 
even though 1.3 stable was the release, so I wouldn't have to re-learn 
anything when 1.4 became the release.)

I personally installed your i-Installer like this, and I think a 
step-by-step install doc definitely helped. I found one which was 
almost step-by-step, and it was excellent.

*) Install TeX with the i-Installer, using II2.dmg
	a) Install i-Installer 2.69.0 in Applications/Utilities
		1) Keeps notes in the Documents/i-Packages directory - do not delete
	b) Using it, install from the i-Directory at Yale:
	c) FreeType 2 (release notes last changed 2004/01/14)
	d) libwmf (last changed 2004/01/31)
	e) GhostScript 8 (2004/12/20)
		1) Add /usr/local/bin to environment? yes
	f) ImageMagick (2004/02/07)
	g) FontForge (2004/05/19)
	h) TeX - the big one (2005/02/13)
		1) Expert Install
		2) 2005 Devel. (can change mind later, it says)
		3) Select all packages (parts)
		4) Configure what? Select the default
		5) Select languages: american and nohyphenation
		6) Paper size: Letter
		7) (It didn't ask me to put it into the path?) It did put it into the 
	i) CM Super (for PostScript type 1 fonts) (2004/11/06)
	a) Personal files should be stored in ~/Library/texmf
	b) folder structure inside ~/Library/texmf should mimic that inside 



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