[OS X TeX] Textures (Universal binary) is now in beta

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Wed Aug 15 18:04:46 EDT 2007

Le 15 août 07 à 21:31, Gary L. Gray a écrit :

> http://www.bluesky.com/news/220b.html
> [...]
> I am sure many on the list would love to hear what it's like from  
> anyone who tries it out.

After trying it out very quickly: it's exactly as the web page says,  
functional with complete virtual font support and some interface  
improvements (compared with the alpha version), but personally I  
doubt it can be considered for everyday use at the moment.

More specifically:

- Virtual fonts seem to work well. I only noted ligatures missing  
with Lucida fonts (the lowercase fi and fl), but for Computer Modern  
and Times/MathTime as well as PSNFSS this problem doesn't appear.

- Some interface limitations of the alpha version have been overcome.  
Cmd-RightArrow is now equivalent to PageDown, and both move forward  
one page (not one screen as in the alpha IIRC). Similarly for Cmd- 
LeftArrow and PageDown, which move backwards one page.

- New functions have been added, like Select Page which is now  
implemented (it was present in Classic textures, but missing in the  
alpha version). It's a slider as in Classic Textures, and its nice  
and elegant look (see screenshot at <http://homepage.mac.com/ 
bvoisin/.cv/bvoisin/Sites/.Public/SelectPageSlider.png-zip.zip>) sets  
hopes high for the final finished OS X Textures.

- On the other hand, the editor is still lacking basic functionality  
(search/replace, block comment, soft or hard wrap, etc.), which makes  
the use of Textures difficult without the recourse to an external  
editor (something which I'm not willing to consider personally).

- A typesetting limitation: typeset runs for the moment in non-stop  
mode, forbidding interaction with the user.

- Another typesetting limitation: the version of LaTeX included is  
quite old (1st June 2000), which may lead to surprises for people  
accustomed to using the latest packages with TeXShop. For example,  
for some reason for a file I'm currently working on, and which uses  
Lucida fonts, the numbers in math come out OK with TeXhop, but with  
Textures (and exactly the same input) they come out in Computer  
Modern (while the rest is in Lucida). I imagine this comes from the  
different versions of LaTeX and the packages. Similarly, the version  
of PSNFSS and accompanying metrics is quite old, so that you have  
mathptm but not mathptmx, for example.

Some other things which I find personally annoying:

- The editor seems to have issues with Mac vs. Windows vs. Unix line  
breaks. If I take a file written with TeXShop (and hence using Unix- 
style end-of-line characters), open it in Textures, go the end of a  
line and attempts to add a line break, then nothing happens the first  
time I press Return and two spaces (or a tab?) are inserted at the  
end of the current line the second time I press Return.

- The Typeset output isn't saved when the document is saved and  
closed, it needs to be recreated each time the document is opened.

- To create a PDF file out of a Textures document, you need to print  
to a file. I suspect that, as when using Apple's Distiller in  
TeXShop, this would produce big files and mess up hyperlinking  
provided by hyperref.

On the positive side:

- Display in the Typeset window is superb. Even Computer Modern fonts  
look nice in it (in other viewers, including TeXShop, they tend to be  
too thin for my taste and eyes). Graphics inclusion works like a  
breeze, and again the quality of the display is superb.

- Boy, Textures is fast. With Classic Textures I never really used  
Flash Mode, as I found it too slow and resource-consuming. With OS X  
Textures, you really can type in the input window and have the result  
displayed immediately in the Typeset window (at least for the  
document -- a 10-pages communication with lots of maths -- I'm  
currently working on).

All this makes me very hopeful.

Bruno Voisin
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