[OS X TeX] 64-bit binaries in TeXLive 2010

David Watson dewatson at me.com
Sat Dec 5 04:54:40 CET 2009

On Dec 4, 2009, at 9:05 PM, Alain Schremmer wrote:


> There are the cutting edge people whom any update of TeXLive ravishes and who are thriving on debugging TeXLive 2009. And these are the people whom the "latest", whether hard or soft, indeed "forces" them to upgrade.
> But then there are those of us who "are typically very slow to update their computers and computing techniques" whom, regardless of what is in the latest TeXLive, would seem more likely than not just to ignore the latest TeXLive and keep on going with what they have. These, then certainly do not feel "forced" by the "latest" to upgrade anything.
> I must be missing something.

I remember when Leopard came out, I mentioned mac users' proclivity for upgrading their OS at every opportunity.
You made your point then that you were satisfied with what you were familiar with.
Just to be clear, the rest of this article is not about you, Alain, but rather about the points brought up in previous replies.

The issue here is that there is a point at which support for TeX on PPC shouldn't be expected to outlast support for the current OS and development tools.

One of my employers uses equipment manufactured by HP during the 80s which cost hundreds of thousands USD per instrument.
If one of them crashes, the entire business is adversely affected.
They run on HP-UX which was discontinued over a decade ago.
The fact that they run at all is remarkable, and HP is to be commended for that.
But HP does not support these instruments and has not for well over a decade.
They are not even Y2K compliant, yet they still run.
No one has made new software for them, and our company wouldn't use it if they did.

Of course HP made bank when they sold these units, and to this day, you will not find instruments with similar capabilities for appreciably less than the original costs.
But when it comes down to it, the onus is on the purchaser to decide when the risk of equipment failure outweighs the costs of upgrading.
The only strictly 32-bit Intel machines that I know of from Apple are the original MacBook Pros that have the "Core 2" label.
Everything since has been 64-bit capable, even if Apple hasn't made it a priority to exploit that fact before Snow Leopard.

I don't see why the developers behind TeXLive should feel the need to support computer systems that are almost 4 years old when those people can continue to use their original systems with no issues.
If there is a package that's outdated and you "absolutely need" to update, then do it the old fashioned way: download the package from CTAN, decompress it, and slam it in your ~/Library/texmf directory where it will override your outdated packages. Then follow the installation instructions, if there are any available. Usually you just "pdflatex somesillypackage.ins" and follow the instructions in the Terminal.
Honestly, that's the way it has been done for decades now, and just because TeXLive has nice shiny new features like the "TeX Live Utility" and Gerben has discontinued active support of the i-Installer doesn't mean that you can't "roll your own".

More information about the macostex-archives mailing list