[OS X TeX] Experimental TeXShop 2.32
koch at math.uoregon.edu
Tue Feb 23 13:43:01 EST 2010
I put an experimental version 2.32 on the web. It is not announced on my web page, but you can get it at
If you decide to experiment, I suggest making a copy of ~/Library/TeXShop, just in case.
This version has nothing new except attempts to improve the experience of getting new Macros,
Engines, etc. Some of you will be disappointed because it takes a conservative approach, but
I can later build on this foundation. "About This Release" in the Help menu is much simpler in
2.32 than in 2.31.
1) The program now upgrades "bin", "Engines", and "Scripts" in ~/Library/TeXShop. It doesn't remove
files which users may have added, but it upgrades default files from TeXShop, and writes any new
default files or folders.
2) The program also writes an extra folder, ~/Library/TeXShop/New, containing new macros, etc.,
that the user might need to install. Consequently it is never necessary to completely regenerate
an old folder.
2) One consequence is that users who MODIFY a default engine should rename it. Otherwise
their modifications will be removed when TeXShop is updated. This is
particularly important for the four active defaults: XeLaTeX, XeTeX, nv-metafun, and nv-metapost.
3) You might be interested in one technical detail. TeXShop installs a hidden file named ".Version"
in ~/Library/TeXShop/New, listing the version of TeXShop which last wrote that folder. It only
rewrites New, bin, Engines, and Scripts if it is a later version than indicated in this hidden file.
So if you (accidentally or on purpose) run an older version of TeXShop, nothing will be overwritten
and broken. And files in these folders will not change between updates.
4) Those of you interested in Engines might press for other changes. One possible extension is to update
any active engine, rather than just the default active engines. Currently that doesn't happen,
so if a new latexmk engine is installed, it must be dragged by hand to replace the old version.
For an example of why I'm hesitant and want users to be familiar with the Engines folder if they
install other engines, consider Sage. The new engine wouldn't work unless users also update Sage.
Indeed, they need to read the documentation in Inactive/Sage, where they discover that sagetex needs
to be updated whenever Sage is updated. So automatically updating the sage engine, if it is active,
would make their life worse rather than better.
(Nevertheless, I probably could be convinced to add 4)
Another enhancement would be to add a Preference item listing all engines, active or inactive,
where users could activate an engine by checking a box. This was recommended in the list
discussion. I see its main advantage as ADVERTISEMENT; casual users who don't read Help
would nevertheless discover other useful engines: latexmk, tex4ht, etc. And frankly, this is a
pretty convincing reason to do it. Maybe in a future version ...
5) Users who want Macros to be automatically added to the menu will also be disappointed. The most
feasible method to do this, it seems to me, is to add new Macros to the end of the list. But there
are disadvantages. What should be done if an old Macro is improved, or if an old Macro
is replaced by a more powerful new one?
In this case, I don't see a clear way to improve the situation. Let's wait and see how many powerful
new macros are invented.
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