[OS X TeX] Re: TeXShop Feature Request

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Tue Jun 1 11:37:30 CEST 2010

On May 31, 2010, at 11:04 PM, Alain Schremmer wrote:

> On May 31, 2010, at 9:17 PM, Herbert Schulz wrote:
>> Depends upon what you mean by stand-alone. BasicTeX is certainly a functional system and can compile files for submission to AMS journals, etc. But it is still very basic by many of our standards; missing many fonts and packages we may tend to use on a daily basis. Unfortunately our personal needs are so varied that there can't be a BasicTeX that will make many of us happy. It's an unsolvable problem.
> Indeed probably unsolvable but, first, it seems to me that there are two ways to use LaTeX, namely for something that is going to be:
> 	A. First printed and then made available in printed form
> 	B. First made available in pdf form and then printed
> In the second case, the end-user needs only a pdf reader and possibly a Print On Demand outfit. However there are two subsidiary cases:
> 	a) the LaTeX-literate end-user who wants to take advantage of the FDL to modify the text. S/he is likely to be able to be able to get the missing esoteric packages if any.
> 	b) the LaTeX-innocent end-user who is only interested in the contents but is nevertheless needs a LaTeX installation to typeset the ancillaries, homeworks, quizzes, exams.
> Case a) is not really different from A inasmuch as they are both predicated on LaTeX being used to *write*.
> Case b) however is entirely different. As pointed out before,  these LaTeX-innocent end-users do not want to write in LaTeX, in fact do not want to have anything to do with LaTeX if they can help it. They only want to be able to use something that happens to require a LaTeX installation---and, hopefully, a GUI to preserve the end-user from getting LaTeX dirty.
> As it happens, so far, there are probably very few people in case b) but getting a minimal, one-click installation would seem to be a necessary condition for their numbers to increase.
> As such, though, BasicTeX would seem to be quite inappropriate as "[i]t contains all of the standard tools needed to write TeX documents", which, in this case, is exactly not the point. For instance, the end-user would certainly not need "MetaFont, dvips, ConTeXt, MetaPost, and XeTeX".
> So, how about a MinimalTeX?
> Fearful regards
> --schremmer


Once you get down to BasicTeX you don't save much space by removing those few binaries and some packages. Also the person who only wants to compile a tex file may, in fact, need xelatex to do that compile and tlmgr does NOT, at this time, allow you to add binaries.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest dot com)

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