# [tex-live] Help wanted

Mel Nathanson melnathanson@hotmail.com
Fri, 03 Aug 2001 18:11:20 -0400

```Dear Sebastian:

Thank you for your reply to my email, but I still can't run LaTex.
Here is the situation:  Quick Install loads some files into the directory
c:\local\tex.  I guess that Tex Live is a DOS program
(where is this written?), but at the DOS prompt, if I give the command latex
x, where x is a latex file, I get the response "bad command or file name."
Somewhere I saw the suggestion that I need to add something to the path, and
I vaguely recall, from medieval times, that there is a path statement in the
file autoexec.bat, which, according to Windows Explorer, is somewhere in
C:\windows\command, though I can't file it.  If I could find it, however, I
need to know how to modify the path.

All this, I assume, is trivial to anyone who knows anything about hacking
about with computers, but, like most mathematicians, I don't.

Mel Nathanson

>From: "Sebastian Rahtz" <sebastian.rahtz@computing-services.oxford.ac.uk>
>To: melnathanson@hotmail.com
>CC: texlive@tug.org
>Subject: Re: [tex-live] forwarded message from Mel Nathanson
>Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 23:57:25 +0100
>
>  > I used Quick install to load TeX Live, but nowhere in the
>  > voluminous documentation (of course, too much is equivalent to none
>  > at all) could I find how to actually run LaTex (compile, preview,
>  > and print a LaTex file).  Please tell me how to run LaTex.
>
>just the same way you always did run LaTeX, via type
>
>  latex sample2e
>
>on a command-line. you can choose to use a shell like WinEdt, TeXShell
>or Emacs if you like, but we do not mandate that. similarly,
>
>  dvips sample2e -o
>
>creates a PostScript file which you can preview or print.
>
>  > assume this question has a one-sentence answer.  This simple but
>  > crucial sentence should be instantly available with the CD.
>
>we did not include it, because nothing has changed in this respect since
>Knuth wrote the TeX Book :-}
>
>
>  > I also cannot find (at least, written in human language) how to run
>  > LaTex from the CD.  The TeX Live Guide is completely useless, since
>  > it is written in gibberish.
>
>I am sorry you find it gibberish. All I can say is that it is not
>intended as a guide to using TeX, but a guide to the CD, which is not
>the same thing at all. We'd be very glad of any help to get it better,
>if you have some time to volunteer.
>
>  > I had assumed that the AMS recommended your program to its members
>  > because it would be easy and reliable to use.  So far I am
>  > disappointed.
>
>I was not aware that the AMS recommended TeX Live, that's
>interesting. I suspect that they do so because it is kept up to date
>and is complete, rather than because it is easy to use.
>
>TeX Live never really set out to be easy to use; it's aim was to deliver
>a modern comprehensive TeX system in a consistent form, to avoid the
>need to walk around CTAN looking for extras. The 4A
>
>Those of use who work on TeX Live are all, I think, aware that the
>documentation could be improved, but none of us is really in a
>position to write a comprehensive guide. Having said that, you
>should find TeXLive 6 an improvement, both in the setup and in the
>documentation (tho I suspect it still does not tell you how to run TeX...)
>
>
>Sebastian Rahtz
>

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