[OS X TeX] New Macros, new Engines, new TeXShop versions, and all that

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Mon Feb 22 20:13:11 CET 2010

On Feb 22, 2010, at 12:26 PM, Richard Koch wrote:

> Folks,
> I'd like to run another idea by you. This idea won't appeal to those who want a "grand systematic solution",
> but maybe others might like it. The previously discussed "New" folder would remain, as would the current
> "About This Release" in Help.
> The folders in ~/Library/TeXShop don't have equal standing. For instance, the Templates folder mainly belongs
> to users, who customize it as they like. If TeXShop offered other templates in the future, they belong in the
> "New" folder as suggestions a user might want to adopt, rather than as material we'd shove into Templates.
> Look at the full list of folders:
> 	bin:	                                     see below
> 	CommandCompletion     unusual change
> 	DraggedImages                stable
> 	Engines                              see below
> 	Keyboard                           stable
> 	LatexPanel                        stable
> 	Macros                               see below
> 	MatrixPanel                       stable
> 	Menus                                unusual change
> 	Movies                               stable
> 	Scripts                                see below
> 	Templates                         for user
> Two of these folders were changed in 2.30 and 2.31 for unusual reasons; I expect no more changes
> anytime soon. I don't expect changes in the stable folders soon. Most of our discussion has been
> about Macros and Engines.
> The proposal is to automatically update three folders: bin, Engines, Scripts. Here "automatically update"
> means we'd merge in new files or changed files, but not eliminate files added by the user.
> This would make adding or updating engines very easy. No "folder regeneration" or messing with bin.
> Just drag the engine to the active area. (With a little extra code, updating engines wouldn't be necessary
> and users would only need to activate new engines if desired.)
> I don't like adding new engines automatically to the active list, but Peter's suggestion of a Preference 
> item to activate engines, with new engines automatically added to the list of engines which could be 
> activated, is an attractive idea for the future. This proposal would be consistent with that more extensive 
> change.


What happens if someone customizes one of the ``standard'' engines? 

I'm beginning to think that activating all engines that come with TeXShop, as Pete suggested, is a good idea. I.e., the engines in the sub-folders of TeXShop/Engines/Inactive/ go into the Engines folder and you also put all the documentation into a Documentation folder inside the Engines folder. A beginning user tends to only use the default engines (also called scripts --- I think there is a problem there) in the Typeset Menu and maybe seeing the other possibilities will make them curious; as long as there is documentation on what each engine does and how to use it.

> The proposal also simplifies adding new Macros, although it doesn't go all the way. The user wouldn't
> have to worry about adding items to bin or Scripts. They would use the Macro command "add macros from
> file" to add new macros, and the macros would be available in the New folder as discussed previously.
> More extensive changes could come later, since for me it isn't clear how to proceed further.
> Dick

This seems like a good way to deal with Macros. Again... no automatic updates.

> PS: I am aware of two implications: a) the XeTeX and XeLaTeX engines would automatically be updated,
> and b) any other engines the user dragged from the Inactive folder wouldn't be updated. With a little
> extra coding, b) could be fixed.

See my comments above.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest dot com)

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