on macOS new user experience likely to be frustrating

Stephan Witt st.witt at gmx.net
Thu Feb 13 21:34:01 UTC 2020

Am 13.02.2020 um 15:38 schrieb mn <mnork0 at gmx.net>:
> 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.
> Thanks.
> Certainly not blaming you or anyone in particular.
> More 'the situation‘.

The situation is as good as there are volunteers to improve 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.
> 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 $$t
> Confirmed.
> And on that one, a specific path to the Skim executable that's different
> does work as well, as long as it exists, and is given in full.
> (No need at that point for a symlink in /Applications for Skim.)
>> 2. In Preferences > File Handling > File Formats I change the setting
>> for Format pdf2 „PDF (pdflatex)“ - what I’m using normally - of the Viewer
>> to Custom and enter „open -a Skim“ as text input.
> OK.
> My current setting:
> Shortname: pdf2
> Viewer: Custom > open -a 'full/path/to/Skim.app/Contents/MacOS/Skim'
> the shorter version "open -a 'Skim.app'" works as well.
>> 3. In Document > Settings > Formats I check "Synchronize with output“ for
>> the current document I want to use with forward search.
> That is strange.
> As reverse works currently also with bundled docs, this looks to me like
> it's unneeded for reverse?
> Once I save an editable document it also works without checking that box
> for forward.
> But I do have now:
> 'pdflatex $$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 cannot find the text passage referring any toolbar button in wiki.

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

The wiki mentions \synctex=-1 as default. You have the option to change that
if you know what you’re doing. 

I’d say you're trying to get synctex working globally via converter flags.
This works for me if I use a modified command. One has to use that:

pdflatex -synctex=-1 $$i

That way one can use forward search with LyX help documents too. Of course
reverse search is working also. Don’t ask me why the parameter must be „-1“.

>> 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
> 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.)
> Which operation/security question to confirm exactly?

Here I get the attached dialog to allow LyX to control Skim.

> 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)
> https://derflounder.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/clearing-the-quarantine-extended-attribute-from-downloaded-applications/
> https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/256625/how-to-set-restore-the-com-apple-quarantine-attribute
>> 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).

Yes, because of the script lyxeditor is located inside the LyX bundle.

>> 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)

I’ve extended the lyxeditor script to do it. So it’s not needed anymore.
This will be part of LyX 2.4.0.


>> 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.
> Yep.
>> I hope this helps.
>> Stephan
> 'Twas enlightening.
> Will retrace all that once again from clean slate and try a streamlined
> write-up.
> Thanks.
> Mike

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