[OS X TeX] your wiki needs you?

Dr. Clea F. Rees cfrees at imapmail.org
Wed Sep 17 16:25:55 EDT 2008

On Wed 17th Sep, 2008 at 12:43, Maarten Sneep seems to have written:

> On 17 sep 2008, at 01:24, cfrees at imapmail.org wrote:
>> On Wed 17th Sep, 2008 at 00:09, Mark Eli Kalderon seems to have written:
>>> The page about editors 
>>> <http://mactex-wiki.tug.org/wiki/index.php?title=Editors> has no mention 
>>> of TextMate. That's a serious omission, I think. Just my two cents. Best, 
>>> Mark
>> It is a front end, isn't it? If not, I can move it onto the editors
>> page. The question is: does it include a viewer? It was listed on the
>> front ends page so I assume it does but I don't use it so don't know.
> It most certainly is an editor, although I think the distinction is somewhat 
> artificial. If I script BBEdit to be able to compile and preview a tex file 
> in Skim, and make that sufficiently smooth, does that make the combination a 
> front end?
> If I recall correctly, TextMate uses webkit to preview html files, and uses 
> the same mechanism to preview pdf files. As far as I know there is no 
> synctex/pdfsync provision in that previewer. Of course, a TextMate user 
> should then be editing that page anyway.

Yes, the distinction is somewhat artificial. Nonetheless, think of it
like this. Suppose somebody is starting out with TeX. She installs TeX
Live. Now she wants an application(s) to create documents, process them
and view the DVI/PS/PDF/etc. result.

If an application will do all of that without her having to download a
second application and without her needing to use an existing
application on her machine such as Preview, call it a "front end" and
stick it on the Front Ends page.

If an application will do creation/processing but needs something more
to do viewing (e.g. Skim, Preview etc.), call it an "editor" and stick
it on the Editors page.

If an application will do viewing but needs something more to do
creation/processing (vim, BBEdit etc.), call it a "viewer" and stick it
on the Viewers page.

This is really just a way to break up what would otherwise be a very
long page and to help somebody decide whether she needs to download/use
2 applications or 1. So the BBEdit/Skim combination isn't a "front end"
however smooth it is.

TextMate has a viewer. Therefore it goes on the Front Ends page. That
it uses WebKit doesn't change that really - that isn't an application.
The user need know nothing of WebKit (or Cocoa or...).

I agree it is artificial. There are grey areas. Distinctions are often
like that. But I think it is still useful - especially to somebody
trying to figure out what's needed to start out.

Both the Editors page and the Viewers page contain explanatory notes
and links at the top. They both have additional links at the bottom.

Not everything on the viewers page has synctex/pdfsync integration,
either. (Preview? Adobe Reader?)

At least, this is how I've been interpreting the distinction. I think
the only other way to do it would be to put everything on one page -
front ends, editors and viewers. But that would make for a rather
unmanageable page, I think.

- cfr

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list