[metapost] TeXworks + MetaPost

Troy Henderson thenders at gmail.com
Sat Apr 18 15:59:19 CEST 2009

I have had quite a few people recently asking about a standalone version of
my MetaPost Previewer which incidently located at


and counters indicate that the previewer gets about 15 hits or so each day.
This lets me know that the number of people using it is at least moderate.
I believe that the primary reason for this is for the same reason that
TeXshop and TeXworks have become so popular, i.e., they have lowered the
entry barrier for TeX.  I know that the intricacies of MetaPost were quite
daunting for me in the beginning, especially subtleties of things like
output file naming schemes and font inclusion. I've recently started working
on a standalone version using wxWidgets (similar to Qt) since wxWidgets is a
cross-platform toolkit that relies on each platform's own native controls
(instead of emulating them) to give the same look and feel as other
applications on that platform.  However, I'm now thinking that since many of
the features that I would like to provide in this standalone version are
already available in TeXworks for TeX documents, it seems natural that I
should perhaps focus my attention on getting TeXworks to work with MetaPost
in a similar manner than it does for TeX documents.  I have no Qt
experience, but it seems that getting TeXworks to support MetaPost should be
a pretty easy task.

I have done quite a bit of C programming, but the main problem that I have
here is that I'm not a great C++ programmer and am basically trying to learn
visual programming with wxWidgets without this skill.  As a consequence,
things are quite slow (as you can imagine).  The purpose of this message is
to solicit expertise in helping with this venture so as to make it easier
for current (but most especially future) MetaPost users to develop their
figures by lowering the entry barrier.  I have ideas on 2 or 3 features that
I believe are important, but I won't bother sharing them at this point.


Troy Henderson
Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics
University of Mobile
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