[tex-live] homebrew mactex?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Nov 3 18:10:43 CET 2012

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 10:57 AM, Frazier, Tyler James
<tyler.j.frazier at tu-berlin.de> wrote:
> Hi Joseph,
> MacTex works fine for me, no problem at all -- I just like the structure of
> the homebrew install and have been in the process of moving all my apps
> there...maybe I could make a homebrew formulae, seems simple enough, or
> would I have problems?

You certainly need to think about how you would manage the texmf trees.  It
might be possible to build the binaries for texlive (as well as the accessories
provided by MacTeX), but the texmf trees could present a problem.  Maybe
you could find a way to use homebrew binaries with TeX Live's texmf packages.

macports has a Portfile for texlive 2012, and some other ports require texlive
(e.g., to format docs, but there is also a Portfile for kile which has
texlive as a
dependency).   The macports version can coexist with MacTeX.   When macports
installs packages, the path is adjusted so /opt/local/bin is at the
front.  Thus package
developers can rely on a basic texlive installation.  Kile, however,
puts the mactex
binaries with the full path in config files, so if a user wants the
real MacTeX they
have to adjust the configuration.   Macport omits tlmgr, thus avoiding
conflicts with the port package manager.  There are times (e.g.,
developing docs for
an app that may have wide distribution) where you want a vanilla TeX
system, and
others where you want a complete and current system.

There is value to the TL community from having more people building
binaries.  The
current approach where the TL developers try to provide binaries that work for
almost everyone is hard work, and there will always be cases (systems
too old or
too new) where the binaries don't work.

With Mac OS X you have groups who use it like a legacy unix system
with X11 graphics,
and don't like it that xetex can't be used via ssh (e.g., with X11
tunnel from a linux box).
Others don't even install X11.  Static linking and putting everything
in one tree runs counter
to policies of some organizations and distros.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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