[OS X TeX] Flashmode for Emacs : Whizzytex + Enrico Franconi's Carbon Enhanced Emacs + TeXniscope

Joachim Kock jkock at ya.com
Sun Apr 10 06:58:15 EDT 2005

Hello Philipp,

I realise that I am writing things to you that it would be more 
appropriate to send to the author of whizzytex...  Sorry for the

> Actually, even the first line "%; whizzy ..."-line may not be necessary.  I
> just commented out the line in one tex file and whizzytex (with TeXniscope)
> still worked.  So maybe you don't even have to add the %; whizzy line ....
> sorry about that

That's good news.

Concerning the DISPLAY issue, just two more lines of explanation:

> > This DISPLAY problem should be something the programme could solve itself,
> > instead of requiring the user to change his habits.  Technically, one
> > solution is to look among the open sockets.  Here is how it is done in
> > Alpha:
> > 
> > proc determineX11Display {} {
> >     # The open displays are sockets listed in /tmp/.X11-unix/
> >     # of names Xn for some nonegative integer n.  Pick the
> >     # first one owned by the current user.
> >     foreach socket [glob -nocomplain /tmp/.X11-unix/X*] {
> > 	    if { [file owned $socket] &&
> > 	      [regsub {/tmp/\.X11-unix/X} $socket ":" display] } {
> > 	        return $display
> > 	    }
> >     }
> > }
> > 
> > You could have whizzytex perform such a check whenever it is activated.
> > (I think you can easily read this little proc (Tcl is easy to read,
> > isn't it?) and write the analogue in lisp.)
> Maybe easy for you !
> Actually, I don't even know what Tcl is...

Tcl is a scripting language, and it is the extension language for Alpha,
just like lisp is the extension language for emacs.  (Tcl was originally
inspired by lisp, but was meant to be simpler and easier to use.  In
particular it is very good at handling text, since in Tcl 'everything is
a string' just like in lisp 'everything is a list'.)

The script above first asks for the list of files in the directory
/tmp/.X11-unix.  (These are the handles to the various X-displays that
are open at any given time on the system.  Typically you will be the only
user logged in, and have only one display open, and it will be called X0.)
Then the script looks if any of these files are owned by you, and if this
is the case transforms the file name /tmp/\.X11-unix/X0 into the form :0
that is used in the DISPLAY variable.

> Maybe I am going to install AlphaX just to see what it looks like.
> Perhaps you could enlighten me what the advantages of using AlphaX for
> someone like me are ( I am doing math).
> Emacs has lots of nice features, including, as I mentioned in my original
> post, an emacs minor mode called UltraTeX. There is of cource also AucTeX.
> The question is whether AlphaX supports/provides a similar kind of latex
> mode.

(In the past I have often praised Alpha vigorously on this mailing list
(too vigorously, some would say), but recently I have become an Alpha
developer myself, so now I'll have to be more modest in my description...)

AlphaX is just an editor, with a standard Mac user interface (which aims at
being as good as BBEdit's) and which is programmable (dreaming of being as
powerful as emacs).  It was very popular in the 90s on the Mac platform,
but it has been very slow at getting a OSX version out: the first public
beta of AlphaX came out about two years ago, and the first final relase is
expected this spring.

AlphaX's TeX mode sports a menu containing templates for most latex commands
and environments.  Syntax colouring and automatic file marking for
navigation.  Command completion, \ref completion, \cite completion (based on
your .bib files), easy interaction with most tex implementations and

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