[OS X TeX] iTeXMac Synchronicity with AlphaX

Jon Guyer jguyer at his.com
Thu Apr 15 10:28:05 EDT 2004

On Apr 15, 2004, at 8:17 AM, Jérôme Laurens wrote:

> Le 15 avr. 04, à 11:28, Geoffrey Vallis a écrit :
>> More germane, AlphaX (the application) has an improved and
>> speedier command line interface that does not rely on this; one just 
>> calls
>> 'alphac +%l %f' where %l is the linenumber and %f the filename, and 
>> alphac

While the alphac interface is very cool and very powerful and I use it 
all the time, I would argue that it does not present an improvement 
over the AppleEvent interface, but simply a different approach. There 
are some very powerful things you can do with the AE interface which 
are impossible/impractical with alphac. Whether it's speedier is a 
matter of whether the caller has to load the OSA libraries or not; 
command-line tools do, which puts them at a huge disadvantage over 
alphac's socket approach, but full applications should only need to 
load the libraries once, making the speed difference negligible, if not 
in AppleScript's favor.

> Synchronization from iTeXMac to AlphaX uses a shell script also named 
> AlphaX shipped with iTM that calls alphac with the correct syntax
> Synchronization from AlphaX to iTeXMac relies on a file given by an 
> Alpha developper to a user (I don't remember exactly) The aecom.tcl 
> file was expected to be shipped with recent versions of AlphaX, it 
> might not.

I've never heard of aecom.tcl. Alpha has a file called aeom.tcl 
(AppleEvent Object Model), which defines the AppleScript dictionary and 
which mediates a significant amount of Alpha's AppleEvent/AppleScript 
behavior. I added a "selecting" parameter to the "open" event which 
allowed selection of lines, words, ranges of lines, etc. This wasn't 
checked into the formal distribution because I never got any 
significant feedback on it and Pierre Basso was unable to make it work 
for some reason. Regardless, I have checked it in now and it will be in 
the next formal release. If iTM is using alphac to communicate with 
Alpha, this is moot, though, because alphac doesn't use the AppleScript 
interface, but a socket interface instead.

> If the synchronization from alphaX to xdvi is now available, it can 
> certainly be extended to iTeXMac, by customizing the appropriate file.
> BTW, this feature was not available in AlphaX when I worked on it, may 
> be it is now.

Nothing in either aeom.tcl or in alphac would control communication 
from Alpha to iTM. I see no sign of any form of synchronicity code from 
Alpha to iTM and I have no idea who might have been working on this. 
That doesn't mean that somebody wasn't, though. Alpha is an entirely 
volunteer project with different aspects supported by different people. 
The best place to ask for features in Alpha is on its mailing lists: 

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