[OS X TeX] TeX wrappers

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Tue Sep 14 16:20:16 CEST 2004


Le 14 sept. 04, à 15:17, Massimiliano Gubinelli a écrit :

>  The issue of extracting the pdf should be considered, from the point 
> of view of a user interfaces, as a conversion from .texd  to .pdf. 
> Something like "Extract PDF To File..." or "Write PDF To file...".

For those that did use Textures on earlier Mac OSes, this is exactly 
how things worked from the user point of view: a Textures document was 
a single file, containing the input text (the .tex file) in the data 
fork and TeX's output (the .dvi file) as separate resources (one per 
page) in the resource fork. Opening the file opened two windows, one 
containing the input text and the other containing the output view; 
using Save saved the file with this structure, while Save As had 
allowed selection of DVI format: in that case a standard .dvi file was 
created, that could be transferred to other platforms.

This wasn't specially well suited for LaTeX, which still required 
separate input files, some of them having then purposeless DVI resource 
forks, but Textures was really designed with plain TeX in mind. For 
this, bundles (or wrappers), as allowed by OS X, would provide superior 
integration and user experience. The only thing I fear is that, by 
looking at something very wide-ranging and ambitious, integrating 
projects, CVS, and more, the initial simplicity of the Textures-like 
interface (Open, Save, Save As, a Pictures window for importing images, 
etc.) would be lost. That would be a pity.

Back to Textures, the resource fork was also the repository for 
document-specific metadata such as encoding, font and font size for the 
input window, position of pointer the last time the document was saved, 
position of page and magnification for the input window, window size 
and position of windows on screen, etc. It would seem more natural to 
keep the same structure, i.e. a separate meta-data file as opposed as 
cryptic informations in the main .tex input file, for a bundle 
structure.

On related matters, I agree with Ross Moore that trashing auxiliary 
files may be a bad idea: there are some old .tex files of mine that I 
would like to print again now, but I can't, because I hadn't created a 
.ps or .pdf out of them then, and unfortunately I can no longer use 
their .dvi or .tex content because they required special fonts or 
versions of packages that are no longer available. Bundles would 
eliminate this kind of disagreement, while still keeping the auxiliary 
files hidden which I think is a bonus from the user point of view: for 
those of us that aren't developers and that have grown, computer-wise, 
with the Mac, it feels unnatural and ugly to have, for each document, 
directories containing several files, some of them with identical names 
and different extensions, instead of (something appearing as) a single 
file.

FWIW,

Bruno Voisin
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