[texworks] Call for Help: Mac builds

Charlie Sharpsteen source at sharpsteen.net
Fri Feb 11 19:10:45 CET 2011

On Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 12:46 AM, Stefan Löffler <st.loeffler at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi,
> as most Mac users of Tw have probably noticed, there haven't been any
> updated Mac builds of the 0.3 development series in quite a while. The
> reasons for that are manifold, but the main reasons are 1) that there
> exist no simple, complete, and working instructions and 2) I have no Mac
> myself to provide builds myself.
> Since this is a community project, I'm asking all of you (Mac users) for
> help with this. Rest assured that you will not be left alone with any
> problems that may occur - that's what a community is for, after all.
> Essentially, there are three things you need to have for such an
> endeavor to be successful: a Mac, time, and persistence.
> Programming/Compiling knowledge for the Mac is useful, but not really
> required.
> So, if you're willing to help, just reply to this post on the mailing
> list and we'll get started.
> -Stefan
> PS: We've done a similar thing for Windows in the past :).

Hey List,

Sorry I'm late to the party, I was browsing Joseph Wright's blog this morn'
and found my way to this thread.

I've been through this jungle with TeX Works last summer and have some
things to offer that may or may not be worthwhile:

1.  A CMake-based build process for compiling TeX Works on OS X

When I first tried compiling TeX Works, I found the paths to many things had
been hardcoded in TeXworks.pro.  So, I slapped together a quick set of CMake
files to build the project.  CMake is pretty good at locating system
libraries and seems to have great support for Qt-based projects since the
KDE team switched to using it as their primary build system.

I was working on getting CPack, the package generator included with CMake,
to build drag-and-drop installers for OS X when I shelved the project.
 CPack can generate many formats including NSIS installers for Windows and
.deb or .rpm packages for Linux.

So, if "changing the build system" is a route this project is willing to go,
at least for OS X, I am willing to blow the dust off of my CMake scripts and
get them running again.

2. Experience building the TeXworks dependencies on OS X

I make regular contributions to the Homebrew package manager:


Which currently contains formula for all the dependencies required to build
TeXworks.  One caveat with Homebrew is that it is biased towards OS X 10.5.x
-- 10.6.x and the i386 and x86_64 architectures.  The nice thing about
Homebrew is that it is git-based so it is easy to create and distribute a
customized version of the package manager that builds things in a given way.
 I am willing to try setting up a branch that will provide Universal Binary
builds of the TeXworks dependencies,  I can't promise any support for OS X
10.4.x though as I do not have a machine running 10.4.x to test with.

3. A machine that can run virtualized instances of OS X

I have OS X 10.5.8 and 10.6.6 set up to run inside of VirtualBox on my mac.
 This allows me to rewind those systems to a "virgen" state in a couple of
seconds which is very useful for testing.  If other developers have come up
with steps to produce a working build, I am willing to donate some time
making sure the results can be reproduced on a clean system.

I can't do all three of those things at once, but if some of those resources
sound interesting let me know and I will be happy to make them available to
the community.


P.S. Thanks a heap for TeXworks!  I have many beautifully written papers and
reports that owe their existence to it!
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