[OS X TeX] TeX and Apple's possible transition to RISC

Simon Spiegel simon at simifilm.ch
Fri Apr 6 08:09:01 CEST 2018

> On 5 Apr 2018, at 19:54, Richard Seguin <riseguin at earthlink.net> wrote:
> There are rumors that Apple may be transitioning from Intel to its own RISC processors beginning as early as 2020. There are speculations that Apple will also attempt to merge MacOS with or into iOS, and some people are even applauding this last possibility. Would either of these pose potential problems for TeX software and the front end software that we use with TeX? I know that iOS is much more locked down than the current MacOS, and, for example, the TeXShop install seems to put something into the root drive since it always asks me for my password. I usually use BBEdit and Skim together with some “TeX integration scripts” that could conceivably be forbidden in an iOS version. It seems recently that Apple has no qualms about giving developers and users big headaches in advancing its vision.

Apple has been developing its own chips for iOS very successfully for quite some time now. They also began to use custom-made chips in MacOS device (for example, the iMac Pro uses a so-called T2 chip for various tasks). That said, we’re still quite far away from a full transition to a completely new CPU architecture. Achieving such a move by 2020 strikes me as quite impossible. 

Apart from that, if Apple is really actively pursues this approach, it’s actually a good sign for Mac users. It means that they are serious about the Mac and are not afraid of serious investing into it.


Simon Spiegel
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