on macOS new user experience likely to be frustrating

Stephan Witt st.witt at gmx.net
Thu Feb 13 13:34:56 UTC 2020

Am 13.02.2020 um 13:30 schrieb mn <mnork0 at gmx.net>:
> On 13.02.20 09:57, Jürgen Spitzmüller wrote:
>> Am Donnerstag, den 13.02.2020, 09:42 +0100 schrieb mn:
>>> Problem is reverse search works, now, but neither intuitively by
>>> looking
>>> through the application, nor by reading the fricking manuals (of
>>> which
>>> UserGuide will not display, whether compiled by yourself (as Pavel
>>> points out to be itself problematic on some Linux version) or
>>> downloaded) coming with LyX, nor with the wiki documentation on the
>>> web.
>> So someone who has a Mac (this excludes me) and can verify the correct
>> settings needs to update these places.
>> This could also be you, mn.
> I know, but that's easier said than done successfully.
> As of now, I only see minimal chances of properly updating
> Additional.lyx with small modifications.
> First I need feedback on my findings regarding Mac setup:
> 1. Can someone confirm this experience?
> 2. If: What is my fault in misunderstanding what's written?
> 3. As: Is 'forward search' *really* not working with Skim?
>   (it looks as if it should, and I just failed somehow, but maybe it's
> just bug-broken in recent versions?)
> 4. What are actual bugs (those should not need documentation, as in
> workarounds, but need fixing?)
> 5. etc.
> *How should* these be fixed?
> In Additional.lyx I see that the pre-conditional of filesystem location
> and 'exact name'/'symbolic link' needs either addition to the
> documentation; or by far
> much better yet: LyX should be made to work regardless of location! I
> guess I prefer but cannot force the latter? This can be written into
> manual now, but should be removed again, preferably in the near future?
> As the logical path in menus of either Tools>Preferences or
> AppMenu>Preferences is a general difference between LyX/Mac and other
> platforms, should all such occurrences be tackled? (Guessing there to be
> a few.)
> The critique of the passage containing 'automatic':
> who wrote that, what's the rationale behind it, how did that come to be
> and evolve? All I don't know, can't retrace now. In what way did it make
> sense? Or does it make sense even now, and I just don't get it?
> For reverse-search I'd have a preliminary idea on how to improve docs,
> based on my current experience, which may be flawed. For forward search,
> without feedback, I have no idea on how to start to do anything.
> The Preferences workflow, in my opinion/taste, with currently: type
> parameter, *then* 'modify', then 'apply'/'save' needs redesign, more
> than documentation. Should that be left as is, or documented to
> accommodate the complicated evolution of things? Seems again that
> re-design of the dialogue would be the proper way?
> How should that be redesigned? The actual coders on these parts haven't
> said anything, yet.
> Second, it seems very ill-advised to start working on huge chunks of
> documentation, only to get them rejected or proven wrong. I don't want
> to waste my time and yours yet again, as with retina-AppIcons; parsimony
> on installed filesizes; or flaws with UserGuide contents preventing
> display on certain systems, but demonstrating suboptimal includes on all
> systems.
> Small bits, with a feedback-loop on them: that I might/can do. For the
> rest I need more help.
> To reiterate:
> - Reverse search works for me, but with deviations from documentation.
> - Forward search does not work for me, regardless of any documentation.
> Neither LyX-docs, LyX-wiki, nor things like the first search engine hits
> on this, like:
> https://sourceforge.net/p/skim-app/wiki/TeX_and_PDF_Synchronization/
> https://github.com/SublimeText/LaTeXTools/issues/631
> https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/473572/lyx-2-3-how-can-i-successfully-set-up-the-forward-and-inverse-search
> https://www.mail-archive.com/lyx-devel@lists.lyx.org/msg208634.html
> http://open-juve.blogspot.com/2015/08/using-skim-as-preview-tool-with-lyxlatex.html
> Users as helpless as me would appreciate not only better documentation
> of a too complicated workflow, but a streamlined and working workflow
> within LyX to begin with.
> If the above is confirmed, and/but that a redesign isn't interesting,
> wanted, or possible, at least short-term, I could suggest
> improvements/updates to documentation for reverse search in Additional.lyx.
> (That is:
> If the docs-team could either refrain from using file-format
> corresponding to 'latest git' for 'change tracking', or accept a diff
> from file-format current stable, or someone provides a working binary
> corresponding to latest-git…)
> For forward search I just have no idea…

That’s a too long post and I cannot comment in detail, sorry.
I’m trying to give you some help though. I feel some responsibility
for the whole thing to get it working on Mac as good as possible.
But I’m not good with documentation and I didn’t wrote it.

One thing we should consider: inter-process-communication
is a security risk per se and therefore a complicated matter.
Apple changes from time to time the playground we’re acting on.
And LyX isn’t available on Mac only. We have to use generic solutions
here. The work to find alternate solutions for Mac only is not done.
And I’d like to point out one constraint: LyX shouldn’t need an installer
to get it working. It should be a self contained bundle.

Now I’ll try to demonstrate how forward search works for me:

It cannot work with the bundled documentation. You have to
modify the document properties and this is not allowed.

1. In Preferences > Output > General > PDF I entered

/Applications/Skim.app/Contents/SharedSupport/displayline $$n $$o $$t

2. In Preferences > File Handling > File Formats I change the setting
for Format pdf2 „PDF (pdflatex)“ - what I’m using normally - of the Viewer
to Custom and enter „open -a Skim“ as text input.

3. In Document > Settings > Formats I check "Synchronize with output“ for
the current document I want to use with forward search.

4. To start forward search use the Navigate > Forward Search menu item

This works for me on my system. Because of the security checks of MacOS 10.12 
and newer it’s required to confirm the operation first and probably this is
the reason for the delay of some seconds from the action in LyX til reaction
in Skim. I couldn’t find a workaround for this yet. (In case you’ve denied the
security question I don’t know how to change this if this is persistent now.)

To get reverse search working you may choose the builtin LyX in Skim.
That uses the defaults of Skim. As you’ve learned it assumes the LyX.app
is installed in /Applications and the LyX.app bundle having the script
lyxeditor in Contents/MacOS. You have to choose custom and enter the 
path to your LyX.app bundle if it isn’t in /Applications. E.g.
As documented in SyncTeX wiki you may change the arguments to:

"%file" %line; /usr/bin/osascript -e 'tell application "LyX" to activate'

to get LyX frontmost on reverse search click.

This works for me on my system too.

Because I’m short on disk space I stay with MacTeX2015 at the moment.
But I’m sure it works with MacTeX2019 too in the same way.

I hope this helps.

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