[OS X TeX] Re: TeX on the iPad (again)

Alan Munn amunn at gmx.com
Sun May 30 20:58:03 CEST 2010

On May 30, 2010, at 11:09 AM, Nicola wrote:

> In article <70FACB3C-67BF-431A-B648-2030EA2A2331 at lse.ac.uk>,
> "J. McKenzie Alexander"
> <jalex at lse.ac.uk> wrote:
>> are there any plans to bring a version of TeX, even a minimal  
>> version, to the
>> iPad?
> I have no plans :) But I would be interested in such a port, which, I
> believe, is technically possible. Given the architecture of iPhone OS,
> the only feasible possibility may be to build a "monolithic"  
> application
> embedding, besides an editor and a viewer, also the tex source (as
> opposed to calling tex as an external program). Since this is
> (translatable to) C code, it might be easily integrated with  
> Objective-C
> code.
> I don't think that is possible to keep tex (or any other program/ 
> script)
> as an external executable within an application bundle. As far as I
> know, the iPhone SDK (3.2) does not include NSTask (a class that  
> allows
> a program to execute a process) and, although standard C fork/exec  
> calls
> seem to be there (and they work in the iPhone Simulator), I am pretty
> sure that they are not allowed on a device (but I cannot test that),
> otherwise removing NSTask in the first place would have been  
> pointless.
> Of course, TeX is not just one binary program... But, at least as a
> proof of concept, it would be interesting to isolate the bare minimum
> needed to run a (plain) TeX system and try to build that into a single
> application.
> I'm curious what others, especially developers, think about it. I have
> little knowledge of the TeX infrastructure (in particular, I don't  
> know
> what the "bare minimum" is), so I may be grossly misled.

Apropos to this discussion is the following message that was posted to  
the R mailing list.  Since pdfTeX et al. are GPL licensed, they are  
incompatible with Apple's TOS agreement.  -Alan

> From: Marc Schwartz <marc_schwartz at me.com>
> Date: May 29, 2010 11:12:15 AM GMT-04:00
> To: r-help at r-project.org
> Subject: [R] R on the iPhone/iPad? Not so much....a GPL violation

> Hi all,
> There have been posts in the past about R being made available for  
> the iPhone and perhaps more logically now, on the iPad. My  
> recollection is that the hurdle discussed in the past was primarily  
> a lack of access to a CLI on the iPhone's variant of OSX, compelling  
> the development of a GUI interface for R specifically for these  
> devices. R itself, can be successfully compiled with the iPhone  
> development tools.
> Well, now there is another, clearly more profound reason.
> The FSF has recently communicated with Apple on the presence of a  
> GPL application (GNU Go) in the iTunes store because the iTunes TOS  
> infringes upon the GPL. Apple, given a choice, elected to remove the  
> application, rather than amending their TOS.
> The FSF also informed the developers of the iPhone port of GNU Go  
> that their distribution is in violation of the GPL. R Core and any  
> others considering an iPhone/iPad port of R, if you are not already  
> aware, take note...
> More information is here:
>  http://www.fsf.org/news/2010-05-app-store-compliance/
> with an update here:
>  http://www.fsf.org/news/blogs/licensing/more-about-the-app-store-gpl-enforcement
> So, until Apple amends their TOS agreement, it looks like there will  
> be no GPL apps available for the iPhone/iPad, since the only way to  
> make applications available for these platforms is via the iTunes  
> store (unless you unlock the device). Hence, no R for these devices  
> in the foreseeable future.
> BTW, I am posting this as an FYI, not as a catalyst for a discussion  
> on the political aspects of this situation. So please, let's not go  
> there... :-)
> Regards,
> Marc Schwartz

Alan Munn
amunn at gmx.com

More information about the macostex-archives mailing list