[texworks] system/user data (was: storage of user-edited engines)

Jonathan Kew jfkthame at googlemail.com
Sun Aug 2 03:10:37 CEST 2009

On 1 Aug 2009, at 14:49, Stefan Löffler wrote:

> On 2009-08-01 20:34, Daniel Becker wrote:
>> Am 01.08.2009 um 13:53 schrieb Bruno Voisin:
>>>> Related Question: When I add a new tool in the preferences  
>>>> ("engine"
>>>> in TeXShop-Speak), where is it saved?
>>> In the preference file, ie ~/Library/Preferences/ 
>>> org.tug.TeXworks.plist
>> I see, thanks. I was looking in ~/Library/TeXworks/...
>> Isn't this setup likely to produce confusion? Consider this:
>> 1) A user adds a new tool/engine, for example MyProjectTeX
>> 2) The developers to decide to add a new engine to the defaults, i.e.
>> luatex (just a name). They announce that in the release notes.
>> 3) The user is happy about that and tries to find the new engine. But
>> he can't as he still has its old preference file.
>> 4) He is semi-clever and moves the preference file to another folder
>> and restarts TeXWorks. Now he has the new engine added by the
>> developers, but its own additions are lost. So he starts to add them
>> again.
> It doesn't work like this for engines. They are not actually built  
> into
> Tw, they are just instructions on how to run external programs. As  
> such,
> no engines will likely be added by the programmers (or if they are,
> instructions would probably be provided for the user to add the new  
> engine).
> In fact, all settings are unlikely to really pose a problem. If new
> options are added, suitable defaults will be chosen by default (i.e.  
> if
> the user has not set a specific value). The problem does apply to
> supplementary files, however (those stored probably in
> ~/Library/TeXworks/ on Mac). In this case, the files and directories  
> are
> only created once and are never updated, at the moment.

Just a note to say that I agree that there's a problem here, both for  
"engines" (yes, there probably will be additions to the default list)  
and for other configuration options (such as syntax coloring rules,  
indent modes, etc.) that are provided via config files. There's a  
tension between wanting to make these user-editable (and respecting  
and preserving customized settings when the application is updated)  
and providing updated defaults.

Actually, I'm thinking of moving the tool (engine) definitions from  
the "preferences" file to a separate .ini file in the configuration  
folder (which didn't exist at first), as this would make it much  
easier for distributions to provide their own custom set of tools. But  
the question of updates remains an issue.


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