[Mac OS X TeX] Print and crash problems

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Wed Oct 17 17:42:41 EDT 2001

On Wednesday, October 17, 2001, at 01:25 PM, Gerben Wierda wrote:

> On Wednesday, October 17, 2001, at 06:22 , Alessandro Languasco wrote:
>> But I have two questions for the TeXShop-tetex developers:
> Dick is swamped with real work at the moment, so I'll answer these.
>> 1) why don't you  add the possibility to choose a previewer different
>> from the apple one?
> TeXShop does not use a previewer, it *is* a previewer (in combination 
> with code to run tex and friends). TeXShop for instance does not use 
> Apple's Preview.app.
> What is the case is that *all* Apple Cocoa apps share the code for PDF 
> display, this is because it is a nice OO system. That means that 
> applications like Mail.app, Create.app, etc. all use the same basic 
> mechanism which is somewhere in a 'Framework' in the system. This is 
> also a very simple mechanism, because it just sends the PDF on to the 
> display environment which does the actual PDF rendering into pixels. 
> This is also where Apple puts its effort to make stuff look right. Ever 
> wonder why Omniweb looks so much better than IE? That is because OW 
> uses those new display mechanisms with all the latest developments in 
> display algorithms (font smoothing for example) that are not available 
> in IE, which uses statically linked older QuickDraw code afaik).
> Simply said: Applications like IE and Acrobatr create their own bitmaps 
> and then pack them in very simple PDF and send that to the display 
> environment. There the PDF is unpacked to the bitmap that is displayed.
> (Sharing this framework code has big advantages amongst others, the 
> option to dynamically alter the behaviour of all apps without 
> recompiling them. On NEXTSTEP, there was only support for TIFF and EPS 
> in the TextView class, but someone wrote a filter that translated all 
> formats to tiff in the background. As a result, all applications that 
> use TextView suddenly can display JPG, BMP etc, but the applications 
> themselves have not changed. The framework in the background has. In 
> other words, NeXT never created a Mail.app on NEXTSTEP that can display 
> inline JPEG images, but my Mail.app on NEXTSTEP can display them 
> anyway.)
>> I don't know if it's an hard thing to do, but since there's a bug in 
>> the apple machinery...
> Well, it can be done of course. One could, instead of creating a PDF 
> display window, open another application and tell it to open the pdf 
> file just created. There are drawbacks. For instance, as soon as you go 
> to your display window, your menu changes to that application, two 
> applications, remember? TeXShop would than only be a frontend to 
> running the TeX compile commands.
> Actually if you're not afraid of the command line, you can do that. Use 
> your favourite command line editor, make Acrobat your default PDF 
> viewer and run pdflatex or altpdflatex by hand. Then, when the pdf file 
> has been created, run 'open pdf-file'.
>> 2) the .pdf generation you use is quite different from the one used
>> by macps2pdf. The dimension of the files is very different (8KB with
>> macps2pdf against 52KB with the translation used in texshop-tetex)
>> and also the displaying speed  is very different (in Acrobat reader; 
>> using
>> preview the os 10.1 always crashes). why?
> TeXShop is a front end, you must remember that. It is entirely not to 
> blame for whatever output is generated. It just runs a command in the 
> background (either pdflatex or altpdflatex). Pdflatex immediately 
> compiles your tex code into pdf code. Altpdflatex first creates 
> DVI-ouput, then uses dvips to compile that into PostScript and finally 
> uses ghostscript 6.01 (an older version) to produce PDF from PS. The 
> older version is used because there is *another* bug in Apple's PDF 
> display that gives problems with displaying certain types of PDF files 
> with multiple types of fonts.
> The later route is only there for older projects which include eps 
> files (which pdflatex cannot handle by itself).
> Sizes of PDF files which look the same may vary. The code inside may be 
> compressed in a binary format. There may or may not be fonts in it, etc.
>> It's a very strange thing, isn't it ?
> No. It is rather simple.
> Acrobat doesn't have these display problems because it does not use the 
> Mac OS X builtin shared Cocoa machinery, but it has its own. It just 
> sends bitmaps to the display. Apple's Cocoa PDF framework send PDF to 
> the display where it is rendered by the display server (Window Server). 
> This Window Server has the bug (as it is the one that crashes) which is 
> triggered by PDF sent to it by the Cocoa PDF image class.
> Since this is a nasty bug (or bugs) in the *heart* of Apple Mac OS X's 
> display system we can hope that they will fix it fast. On the other 
> hand, the fact that the previous bug (not so nasty) was not fixed and 
> that the new bug appeared shakes my confidence in the quality of the 
> code of Mac OS X's display environment. That stuff should be written 
> such that it cannot crash.
> A listing of processes reveals:
> [dumbledore:local/src/INSTALL.TeX.macosx] root# ps axww
>     1  ??  SLs    0:00.02 /sbin/init
>     2  ??  SL     0:02.36 /sbin/mach_init
>    41  ??  Ss     0:01.11 kextd
>    65  ??  Ss     0:02.45 
> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/
> ATS.framework/Versions/A/Support/ATSServer
>    67  ??  Ss     3:51.39 /System/Library/CoreServices/WindowServer
> That last one probably is the process which has problems.
> Gerben
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