on macOS new user experience likely to be frustrating

mn mnork0 at gmx.net
Thu Feb 13 14:38:52 UTC 2020

On 13.02.20 14:34, Stephan Witt wrote:

> 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.

Certainly not blaming you or anyone in particular.
More 'the situation'.

> 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.

Full agreement on the installer. That LyX and Skim (at least) should
work seamlessly and without much setup for this should still remain a
goal though.

> 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.

*That* seems to be the crucial thing I started to overlook in testing
back and forth.
At one point I switched to do the testing on bundled docs, since
Reverse search did work with bundled docs
(probably see below for why),
only forward did not!

> 1. In Preferences > Output > General > PDF I entered
> /Applications/Skim.app/Contents/SharedSupport/displayline $$n $$o $$t

And on that one, a specific path to the Skim executable that's different
does work as well, as long as it exists, and is given in full.
(No need at that point for a symlink in /Applications for Skim.)

> 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.

My current setting:
Shortname: pdf2
Viewer: Custom > open -a 'full/path/to/Skim.app/Contents/MacOS/Skim'

the shorter version "open -a 'Skim.app'" works as well.

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

That is strange.
As reverse works currently also with bundled docs, this looks to me like
it's unneeded for reverse?
Once I save an editable document it also works without checking that box
for forward.
But I do have now:
'pdflatex $$i -synctex=1 $$i' in Prefs > FileHandling > Converters
LaTeX (pdflatex) -> PDF (pdflatex)

How does that option – as taken from LyX-wiki – correspond to the
toolbar button? Button is ineffectual with that option now 'hardcoded'?
(Meaning that wiki info is outdated, or is that the toolbar button
should check for that option in settings?)

I conclude that -synctex=1 should be removed from my settings and marked
as deprecated in wiki?

> 4. To start forward search use the Navigate > Forward Search menu item
> This works for me on my system.

Reverse and forward work here now too. Many thanks.

> 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
> 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.)

Which operation/security question to confirm exactly?

As far as I understand, on 10.12 there is just a quarantine ('downloaded
from…') for newly downloaded stuff like Skim and LyX.
It depends on flags slapped on by the system on download into extended
attributes, and then perpetually propagated from there if you move that
file around.

I remove those routinely before I install any non AppStore
programs/trusted free/opensource  programs.

If you mean that, I didn't see them. (The unnerving Catalina stuff I
avoided so far)


> 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.
> /Users/mn/Applications/LyX.app/Contents/MacOS/lyxeditor

Did I get this right:
With the symlink in place, the Skim builtin works.
Without the symlink in place, the 'Custom > full path/to/lyxeditor'
works (and is needed).

> 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.

Meaning the built-in preset in Skim is insufficient if
- LyX is either renamed or at alternate location
- one wants LyX to come forward on click?
  (wondering why/how that's not covered from Skim's side)

> 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.
> Stephan

'Twas enlightening.
Will retrace all that once again from clean slate and try a streamlined



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