[Mac OS X TeX] Announce: Instant Preview and the TeX daemon

Arthur Ogawa ogawa at teleport.com
Sat Jul 14 21:11:17 CEST 2001

Those lurking here might be interested in new work, described at
http://www.active-tex.demon.co.uk/texd/, of a TeX-based system having
low-latency preview of the TeX input (rather like BSR's flash mode).

Running on a UNIX type architecture, this system uses a standard (web2c)
TeX engine driven by a demon and enables quick preview of one's (small)
TeX document. It was developed by Jonathan Fine, a long-time TeX
enthusiast and is available under the GPL or LGPL.

Albeit originally developed on X86 Linux, there is no reason why it
could not be ported to Mac OS X and incorporated into, say, CMacTeX or
TeXshop. I hope that I can find some interest here in working on a Mac
OS X port, because I would like to give a live demo of this system at
the upcoming TUG meeting at UDelm, and I would like to do the demo under
Mac OS X if possible.

One part that is needed is a (web2c) TeX that has been compiled with
--enable-ipc. Can anyone tell me if the Mac OS X TeX port we are using
has that feature? The INSTALL file states:

> To discover if your version of TeX has ipc enabled, type
>     tex --help
> and if
>     -ipc  send DVI output to a socket [...]
> then you have ipc.

The crux issue is that the TeX engine, after writing the eop, should
then flush stdout, so that the partial DVI is always complete up to the
end of the page.

The Instant Preview/TeX daemon system under Linux uses the ipc-enabled
TeX engine, some sort of DVI viewer (like XDVI), named pipes, and emacs
lisp programming.

Anyone interested in helping work out a Mac OS X port?

Arthur Ogawa
TeX Consultants

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