[OS X TeX] Skim SKAutoReloadFileUpdate

Joseph C. Slater PE, PhD joseph.slater at wright.edu
Thu Dec 18 16:39:32 CET 2008

On Dec 17, 2008, at 11:37 PM, Adam R. Maxwell wrote:

> On Dec 17, 2008, at 1:12 PM, David B. Thompson, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE,  
> CFM wrote:
>> On Dec 17, 2008, at 10:53, Joseph C. Slater PE, PhD wrote:
>>> The Skim wiki says "we don't recommend using this". However, I  
>>> always click "Auto"  and figure this will do my bidding for me. Is  
>>> there an explanation for the counter-recommendation? How bad could  
>>> things get? What bad effects should I be looking for?
>> I've been using the "auto" feature as well and haven't seen  
>> anything bad (yet).
> Auto-reload for PDF was a mistake, IMNSHO [1].  There's a race  
> condition in reloading the file, so you can end up loading it  
> multiple times or (worst case) crashing it with invalid PDF.  The  
> only reliable way to do this is to set your script(s) to run a  
> "revert" command via AppleScript, if and only if your pdftex  
> processes completed.
> Only the  script/process calling pdftex has any idea if it succeeded  
> or how many runs will be required.  Hence, using revert is more  
> efficient and sensible, since you can't read a partially created PDF  
> document (as you can with some formats).

OK. I see your point (I read the thread). As a practical matter,  
however, I've never encountered this. If the worst that's going to  
happen is Skim crashes once in a while, I can handle that. The  
convenience more than offsets it.

It seems to me that AUCTEX should be able to call a script that  
compiles, waits for results, then forces a refresh in Skim (which is  
the method you're advocating), but baring user (capable user)  
frustration, I doubt it's going to happen. I don't have the skill set,  
unfortunately (contrary to popular opinion). At least not without a  
Herculean effort.


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