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Re: [Texmacs-dev] Cocoa backend

From: Felix Breuer
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] Cocoa backend
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2006 15:34:09 +0100

On Sat, 2006-12-16 at 22:13 +0100, Massimiliano Gubinelli wrote:
> Hi,
>   thank you all for the comments.
>   Writing the backend is for me a way to learn TeXmacs internals. On  
> the long run I would like to have an interface as much as possible  
> integrated in the Mac environment (there is no point in having  payed  
> for a Mac and have to run programs made for linux/windows :-)).
> I plan to proceed as follows:
> 1) finish the backend as much as reasonable (something is not perfect  
> like the menu popups and balloons).
> 2) pondering about a more stuctured UI interface (independent from  
> the backend). I would like to have a proper interface for menus, open/ 
> save panels, button bars, status bar, etc... Currently some of these  
> stuff are directly handled by TeXmacs code (and if I understand  
> correctly even by Scheme code). There should be an abstract interface  
> to the menus and to the other UI elements: command/status line,  
> button bars, scrolling... A better layering would be useful also to  
> introduce other widget libraries like Qt, etc...
> 3) eventually modify the interface to be more Mac like (standard  
> menus, less cluttered main window, no more too many buttons...)

You mention replacing the UI widgets. How do you handle the drawing of
the actual document? AFAIK TeXmacs uses an abstract "PS-device" which
maps the drawing commands to X11 calls. Is it possible to reuse that one
on Cocoa? Or did you start implementing a Cocoa backend for the
PS-device? Would a OpenGL/Cairo backend serve you as well? I think the
implementation of such an OpenGL or Cairo backend would be a great
benefit for TeXmacs on all platforms.

Also I think it would be great if TeXmacs were decomposed into a set of
reusable libraries. GUIs could then be implemented more easily on top of
these. This would not only increase the maintainability of the GUI but
also the maintainability of TeXmacs itself. (I have not tried to
undertake such a decomposition, because I do not have the necessary

Good luck with your port,

PS: There are numerous bugs in TeXmacs with regard to memory management
as exemplified by the reports on the bug tracker about crashes. Any help
in fixing those would be greatly appreciated. I can't do much except
provide you with a number of test-cases.

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