[OS X TeX] Re: MacOSX-TeX Digest #378 - 07/25/02

Vince Darley vince.darley at eurobios.com
Tue Jul 30 12:04:25 CEST 2002

At 08:00 PM 7/25/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>I can get AlphTk pdflatexing fine but I can't get it to
>open Acrobat Reader to view something.  I assume I should do
>Welcome to Alpha's Tcl shell.
>«Resources» set "View PDFsig" CARO

that should be 'set viewPDFSig CARO' I think (try 'info vars *sig' and 
'info vars *Sig' first so you can see which it is)?

>in Shell ?  But then when I try and view a pdf it
>opens a window to let me pick a helper and it
>doesn't let me pick acrobat.

I'm working on this problem, which I hope to have fixed soon.  The 
workaround that Michael provides is of course very good as well.

>Am I right in assuming that AlphTk and AlphaX (not released yet) are
>different shareware applications in terms of licensing.  Can anyone
>comment on the differences between them?

Yes, that's right.

>Yes. My bet is that in the long run, you won't be able to tell them
>apart, except that AlphaX should run faster than AlphaTK. You likely
>won't notice the difference, but that will likely be it. They have
>different cores, but the scripting on the top is the same (modes and
>AlphaTK can be used on other platforms, AlphaX cannot.
>Differences that currently exist, I can't comment on, since I don't have
>AlphaX. However, I expect the differences to diminish over time.

I'd agree with this.  In the medium term I expect there will be some 
observable differences:

(i) Alphatk handles unicode, different character encodings, multi-byte 
characters, etc, already.  AlphaX doesn't, and it may be some time before 
it does.

(ii) AlphaX's display will be faster, I expect, and it will probably have 
better support for some native-osx-technology, (this depends on the rate 
with which such things will be added to aqua-Tk).

(iii) AlphaX supports drag-n-drop of text, Alphatk doesn't yet.

(iv) Alphatk supports 'folding/outlining' of blocks of 
text/functions.  AlphaX doesn't.

(v) Alphatk supports showing of line-numbers in windows, AlphaX doesn't.

(vi) AlphaX has full proxy-icon support in windows, Alphatk doesn't (but 
that might be fixed soon).

(vii) All of the source code for Tcl, Tk, and Alphatk is available, so you 
can help to fix problems which bug you.  The core of AlphaX is closed-source.

Overall the differences will probably diminish with time, but all of this 
will depend on what the user-community wants and does.  Certainly on the 
graphical side, it is _much_ easier to customize Alphatk.  (E.g. let's say 
you wanted to add a class browser to the editor, that would be easy in Tk, 
but harder with AlphaX, and also a problem since it is closed source).  It 
is a remarkable testament to the power of Tcl/Tk that something like 
Alphatk is even possible at all.

I hope that helps shed some light!  I'm sure both AlphaX and Alphatk will 
be very nice editors on MacOS X.  And they both share the 170000 lines of 
code which form the AlphaTcl library and all those modes, menus, etc.



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