[Mac OS X TeX] Re: The role of TeXShop

Norman Gray norman at astro.gla.ac.uk
Fri Jan 18 05:46:44 EST 2002


On Thu, 17 Jan 2002, Lorenz Szabo wrote:

> On 2002-01-17 10:16 AM, "Joachim Kock" <kock at math.unice.fr> wrote:
> > I think it
> > works in all web browsers (and most likely comes from unix (more or less))
> Although Mosaic was developed on NeXT, I don't know any Unix program using
> the Space-bar for scrolling

Joachim's `(more or less)' was a rather sly joke.  `more' is the
traditional Unix file viewing program, and `less' is a version of
`more' with more features (less is more); thus folk would use these
programs continually, every day.  Both use the spacebar to page down
through a text.  This means that the association spacebar-pages-down
is _deeply_ ingrained in Unix folk, so that it's much more natural than
using the PgDn or arrow keys.  As a result, numerous other applications
use this key, along with delete-pages-up, when displaying read-only text.
xdvi and ghostview are notable examples in this context.

> By the way: Even Adobe's Acrobat Reader 5
> doesn't support the Space-bar.

...most confusingly, and irritatingly.

Before anyone else points it out, yes, vi doesn't use
spacebar-pages-down, but (a) vi is well known to be unusual, and (b)
vi users have a completely distinct set of keyboard instincts to page
in anyway, so it hardly matters.  This is not relevant to the current

To keep this posting on-topic, I for one would prefer to see an OS X
application maintain an option to enable a `traditional' Unix
interface, such as spacebar-pages-down.  The Mac is now talking to two
different communities at the same time: trad-Mac people with rightly
strong opinions about what constitutes a good interface, but also
trad-Unix folk, with rather different learned expectations about
comfortable interfaces.  The Mac really needs to address both groups'

My own pet peeve about using TeX on OSX is that, not only does Preview not
notice that a .pdf file has changed and so reread it, but there seems no
way to reload a .pdf file short of closing a Preview window and issuing
`open file.pdf' again.  Acrobat is no better.

All the best,


Norman Gray                        http://www.astro.gla.ac.uk/users/norman/
Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK     norman at astro.gla.ac.uk

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