[OS X TeX] Synchronicity...

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Tue Oct 2 03:40:20 EDT 2007

Le 2 oct. 07 à 05:48, Adam R. Maxwell a écrit :

> On Oct 1, 2007, at 01:57, Bruno Voisin wrote:
>> ...is back!
>> <http://www.bluesky.com/news/220b.html>
> I'd really like to try this, but $129 is a bit much just to see how  
> it looks and works.

It's free to owners of Textures 2.1, aka Classic Textures, the latest  
release version dating back to 1999, so that I didn't have to pay for  
it. But yes, at $129 I'm not sure I'd have tried.

You must also be aware that there are many things not implemented yet  
(such as search-and-replace in the built-in editor), the TeX  
functionality is limited (no color nor hyperlinks yet, nor  
microtypography) and the GUI is primitive. It's more a hint at things  
to come, but coming from TeXShop don't expect the same level of GUI  
sophistication or user-friendliness yet (no palettes nor macros nor  
auto-completion, etc.). It's more a bare-bones Mac TeX at this stage,  
a racing car with very powerful and advanced engine (as synchronicity  
testifies) but ascetic interior setup. German car fans anyone?

>  My understanding is that it's not using pdfetex, so what graphics  
> formats does it accept as input?

I've only tried EPS files so far (my usual workflow is Mathematica ->  
EPS -> Illustrator -> EPS -> PDF, so that Textures makes the last  
step superfluous), but it's said to accept PDF and PICT as well. A  
more detailed description of the current \special capabilities of  
Textures was given for the alpha version at:


> Can it use the .sty files and so forth that are in /usr/local/gwTeX  
> and ~/Library/texmf (i.e. can I compile my existing LaTeX documents  
> with it)?

The built-in LaTeX format is quite old:

This is TeX, Version 3.141592 (preloaded format=latex.ltx 2006.6.20)   
2 OCT 2007 08:50
LaTeX2e <2000/06/01>

so that I guess most up-to-date versions of .sty files and so forth  
won't work with it and it's safer to stick for the time present to  
the LaTeX tree provided at:


You must also be aware that additional functionalities like color and  
hyperlinks are not yet implemented, so that the color and hyperref  
packages, for example, are useless for now. Same with microtype.

That said:

- It's theoretically possible to recompile a brand new LaTeX format,  
using the built-in VirTeX. I just didn't want to enter into such  
things due to lack of time.

- What I do is put the provided LaTeX tree at

/Library/Application Support/Textures/Inputs/

and when I need more current version of packages copy these versions  
from the MacTeX texmf tree to:

~/Library/Application Support/Textures/Inputs/

which takes precedence, and then see whether the two (old LaTeX, up- 
to-date package) are compatible.

Says tech support at Blue Sky TeX Systems:

> (3) we'll update LaTeX and style files when we have a chance,
> but I'd mention that it's also possible to put an alias to the
> TeXshop inputs tree into Textures' Inputs folder more-or-less
> as the only entry, and that works just as you might expect;
> a local copy of graphics.cfg is necessary of course, and no
> doubt a couple of other macro configuration files?
> (In the not-too-distant future we plan to add TFM file support
> so it will be possible to do a similar thing with font metrics.)

However, that solution won't be able to reproduce the complex search  
pattern used by gwTeX and MacTeX and provided by kpsewhich. Says tech  

> About ordering the search within Textures' Inputs folder:
> at present the only reliable ordering is by depth, i.e.,
> the top level folder is searched before any of its sub-folders.
> We are considering whether it would be worthwhile to arrange
> for, say, alphabetic ordering within folders, but we're not
> sure that it's worth the trouble, as TeX classes and macros
> are rarely troubled by collisions.

> How about bibtex?

As ashamed as I am to have to admit this, I'm not using BibTeX. I'm  
still doing all bibliographies manually, with cut-and-paste! (But  
hey, I'm also still not using Address Book and instead I'm managing  
all my email and contacts by cutting-and-pasting addresses from one  
message to the other.)

I just never felt motivated enough, and with enough free time in my  
hands, to invest time learning new tools. I still have "Try and learn  
BibDesk" as an item on my TODO list, but it's a very long list indeed  
and I'm not sure I'll ever manage to reach that item...

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