[OS X TeX] PPC to Intel

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Wed Jun 8 11:38:47 CEST 2005

Le 8 juin 05 à 03:17, Rodrigo Banuelos a écrit :

> ...and so the question, for those who know best, will the transition
> from PowerPC to Intel be painless, as far as TeX (and all the  
> related apps
> that we so cherish) is concerned?

Depends on which TeX you're thinking about:

- For Textures, painful: it seems Rosetta, which will allow PowerPC  
apps to run on Pentium, won't support Classic. Of course, there's  
always the possibility that Textures runs on OS X, eventually...

- For other TeXs, depends on whether they're optimized to use G4 or  
G5 specific functions, that Rosetta won't support. If you look at the  
doc <http://developer.apple.com/documentation/MacOSX/Conceptual/ 
universal_binary/universal_binary.pdf>, you'll see that Rosetta is  
actually a G3 emulator, not more. For example telling, as Apple does,  
to a scientist that Rosetta won't be good at FFT is like telling a  
cook that an oven won't be good at heating food. Thus it feels like  
Rosetta will be pretty much useless, except for the most basic tasks.

It's safer to assume that TeX apps won't actually require the Rosetta  
emulation, and be ported instead to the Pentium (= become Universal  
Binaries). If one is to believe Apple's doc and marketing blurb, for  
Cocoa apps (TeXShop, iTeXMac, ...) the porting should be easy, and  
for Carbon apps (OzTeX, CMacTeX, ...) a bit more difficult but still  

That's only frontends, though, and that leaves of matter of the TeX  
engines (TeX, pdfTeX, XeTeX, ...). On this I've no idea. It depends,  
I imagine, on some sort of support of the new platform by gcc. It  
might also be an issue for OzTeX, which includes its own TeX binaries  
compiled with another compiler (for the Modula-2 language IIRC).

Regarding the lack of support of Classic, which Apple seems to  
confirm <http://news.com.com/Intel+deal+may+mean+end+to+OS+9+support/ 
2100-1045_3-5734410.html>, I feel personally very upset: Phil  
Schiller from Apple has the attitude of telling "Hardly anybody uses  
Classic anymore, so it's very low on our priority list". Very well. I  
don't use Classic to do any new stuff, but I appreciate the  
possibility of opening my old files from 15 years ago, written using  
MacWrite, MacDraw/Claris Draw, Claris Resolve (and Textures), and  
copying/reusing some of their content. Or using fonts in Mac OS 9  
format (like my Lucida and MathTime fonts) under OS X.

Warning: I'm no developer, thus I may be completely wrong. And there  
are issues that puzzle me: for example, the Pentium doesn't support  
64-bit code, right? What will happen, then, of applications for which  
a lot of the recent development efforts went precisely into  
supporting 64-bit addressing for the G5?

Bruno Voisin--------------------- Info ---------------------
Mac-TeX Website: http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/
           & FAQ: http://latex.yauh.de/faq/
TeX FAQ: http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq
List Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>

More information about the macostex-archives mailing list