[OS X TeX] xdvi and/or acrobat reader with darwin ports emacs

Massimiliano Gubinelli mgubi at mac.com
Mon Jan 24 10:22:12 EST 2005

Hi folks,
  I read just now this long thread and I would like to make just a 
comment: as far as it is now TeXniscope (as a dvi viewer) has some 
serious shortcomings. First of all, as some of you remarked, it convert 
dvi to pdf. This conversion is due to the inability of CoreGraphics to 
work with Type1 fonts (actually the lack of a suitable API). The PDF 
route is the safer way and faster way (for the time being) to use TeX 
outline fonts. This causes a problem when reading large documents, 
since all the dvi file must be translated before even showing the first 
page, and this is unacceptable for any kind of "flashmode" or 
editing->compiling->previewing (ECP) loop. I tried to make the things 
seems faster by converting only 10 pages initially (e.g. pages from 1 
to 10) and then, when the preview is updated, converting in background 
the rest of the document (this is only an approximation of what is 
actually done). Of course this is a trick, but make the initial waiting 
time acceptable. But has some shortcomings (which you can easily 

  I think that a native DVI viewer can in principle perform better (and 
I'm currently trying to write one for TeXniscope). Essentially the DVI 
format is much better for "flashmode" than pdf format -- mostly because 
it does not embed fonts). Of course this leaves out fine points like 
microtyping but here I'm mainly concerned with the speed of the ECP 
loop. When I'm at the beginning of the document creation process I'm 
ready to pay in quality if I can see my changes reflected 
instantaneously in the output.

  A particular problem is posed by packages like pstricks or other kind 
of package that rely on the fact that the DVI driver can understand 
PostScript commands. This is a complex situation to deal with in a DVI 
previewer since there must be code which interpret the PostScript 
specials and try to "emulate" a PS driver:

     xdvi has not been written in a day....

Massimiliano Gubinelli

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