additional texmf tree for all users (was Re: [OS X TeX] Beginner help with TeXshop/MacTex needed)

William Adams will.adams at
Tue Aug 29 15:03:37 CEST 2006

On Aug 29, 2006, at 8:29 AM, Rowland McDonnell wrote:

> How
> would a maintainer of a TeX installation on a Mac discover what is  
> going
> to happen on running an update?

Start i-Installer
open up your preferred i-packages directory
open the package you're curious about
read the release notes

If you want more information than that, as Gerben noted, the source  
is available, download the i-package and check out the files and  
other information.

> What i-installer did was downloaded a large amount of data in multiple
> packages.  I did not install it - I just grabbed the packages.  I then
> tried to grab another one, and whoosh!  All the previously downloaded
> data had been deleted.
> There was *NO WARNING AT ALL*.  There was no installation.  Just
> downloads, and data loss.

I don't regard a program deleting something which it had downloaded  
and which remains available for download as data loss --- a nuisance  
and waste of time and bandwidth, perhaps, but it's not that big a  
deal in the grand scheme of things --- and how can something be  
``lost'' when you know where to get a new copy?

It's important to note here that Gerben has tried _very_ hard to make  
i-Installer _very_ safe, and unlike Apple's own Installer the source  
is available and verifiable --- by contrast, Apple's own installation  
programs have in the past actually caused data loss for significant  
numbers of users, but i-Installer can't do anything other than delete  
things which it had placed on a user's hard drive (typically packages  
compiled by Gerben himself), or things placed by the user in such  
locations, and has never been responsible for things like deleting a  
user's entire iTunes music library.

Can you re-create the exact circumstances which caused your  
downloaded packages to be deleted? If you can post a specific  
configuration and list of steps which result in this, I think  
everyone would be grateful.


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications

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