PATH, was: Re: [OS X TeX] OT: Autotrace

Roussanka Loukanova rloukano at
Mon Mar 19 08:40:21 CET 2007

On Mon, 19 Mar 2007, Gerben Wierda wrote:

> On Mar 18, 2007, at 19:53 , Roussanka Loukanova wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I have a marginally related question about setting up the PATH variable for 
>> accessing scripts defined by the user. Which is the good way to add the 
>> user's ~/bin directory to the search path: at its beginning or end, e.g. by 
>> adding a resepctive line in .bashrc
>> (1) export PATH=$HOME/bin:$PATH
>> (2) export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin
> I prefer 2. It is safer because you cannot (accidentally, or maliciously) 
> override system stuff. Name clashs are also esier to resolve as you can 
> change the name of your personal script while it is not advisable to change 
> the names of system stuff.
>> (3) or something else?
> Best is not to use PATH at all if you can avoid it. But that is more work. 
> (2) is OK.

My thinking has been that the choices in a system of offered (default)
solutions should be good candidates.

I'll continue to try to do what is best and safest. (At least for now) I 
do not see any need for personal extra scripts (for which to alter the 
PATH), since the TeX distributions, at least on Mac, already have 
almostly, if not entirely, everything that one may need, and all is 
professionally done. Plus, Emacs (at least Carbon Emacs) has come with 
very good defaults consistent with the TeX distributions too.

Thanks again,

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