July 8, 2018
TeX Writer: Shared Folders

Recently TeX Writer introduced a new feature to import shared folders via Files app. However, it only works with git clients like Workingcopy. If you try to import from iCloud drive, you will notice that the imported folder may look empty. The reason is that TeX Writer only gets hold of the path to the imported folder, but it has no idea how to sync remote files. iOS offers APIs like NSFileCoordinator, which looks like a dangerous sign in front of a minefield. Making the compiler engine work with such APIs is not as straighforward as we expected.

We may think sharing file system is a long solved problem, but given the messy situation on iOS, it's apparently not. Most network file systems require that the client device is always connected, but on mobile systems, the file system should work even in offline mode. That's why git is so much more useful.

As a side note, I am also very glad that the development to support git clients was almost effortless.