[OS X TeX] Wish list for BBEdit

Holger Frauenrath mail at frauenrath.com
Tue Nov 19 08:24:55 EST 2002

On Thursday, November 14, 2002, at 04:19 AM, Jan Erik Moström wrote:

> I've beta tested several versions of BBEdit, including this one.
> I've earlier collected comments/requests, from this and other mailing
> lists, for how BBEdit can be improved when it comes to LaTeX/TeX and
> sent it to BBSW. They were quite interested in how BBEdit can be
> improved regarding TeX/LaTex but they have some difficulty in knowing
> what needs to be done ... they are not TeX/LaTeX users themselves.
> So write down a list, and try to motivate/describe why a certain 
> feature
> is needed and perhaps a few ideas for how it should work, and send it 
> to
> support.

I hope Barebones also forwarded you the emails they have received 
themselves regarding this topic. I sent them some wishes I had for 
BBEdit as a LaTeX editor about half a year ago. I have never heard back 
from them, though (I actually did not expect to). I would like to 
present what I think would make BBEdit a good LaTeX editor to this 
list, because I hope other people will like some of it. I really think 
it would be good if as many people as possible would write to 
Barebones. And may be somebody else has a better way of explaining the 
things to the folks at Barebones than I do, so that they will better 
understand why a certain feature is necessary and how it should be 

I guess that many of the following features will remind people of 
Alpha. This is, of course, not a conincidence, because I have used 
Alpha under MacOS 9 for a long time. I must admit that I just cannot 
get used to AlphaTk, but I do hope that AlphaX will finally come out 
with a compelling interface and features.

So how about BBEdit? I have been using BBEdit as a HTML editor, and I 
am very happy with it. Basically, all that a good "LaTeX mode" would 
have to do is copy some of the features implemented for HTML editing:

- Better syntax coloring. First of all, I think, a unique place for 
setting syntax coloring (right now, it is under the preferences and 
under the TeX mode menu). I think this would be good for all other 
modes, too, for that matter. As for the coloring itself: coloring of 
strings in inline math modes (between $ and others). I guess that some 
people would also like to have other mathematical environments in 
general completely colored, I think. Coloring of brackets. Different 
coloring of all sectioning commands.

- A menu and a palette to insert TeX Commands similar to their HTML 
menu and HTML palette. It would be nice to have some sort of 
intelligent insertion (like placing the cursor in the brackets of a 
\command{} etc.), and configurable keyboard shortcuts.

- A mechanism similar to "close current tag" that would for example 
insert \end{current_environment} to the current environment.

- Syntax checking would be cool.

- Collapsable/expandable sections. This would definitely be a really 
cool one. Not only would you have something like tags that you can move 
to in a document, but it would also allow you to display only those 
sections you are actually working on.

Any more ideas?

Mac TeX info, resources, and news can be found at:
List archives can be found at:
See message headers for list info.

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list