TeX Writer: Editor Redesign
Many new TeX Writer users find that the editor uses an odd selection method that's quite different from the system one. When I implemented TeX Writer editor years ago, there was no TextKit. We had to use CoreText to layout and to render text. The app development scene is more active than it is today, and developers put out new things everyday. So people tolerate new ideas more back in those days. From appstore review section I saw that some people find our way interesting and convenient. Today, it is unthinkable to keep non-standard behaviors. We should just conform to the system behavior and everyone can use the app right away.
For the entire January, I have been playing with TextKit and trying to
make the editor more native. At the same time we want to keep the appearance more or less the same: Line numbers, fringes on both side, a command bar
to type in commands, and the color settings in
Some new things came out out during the experiment:
- Split view. Haveing two text files or a text file and a pdf file side by side can be very handy.
- More extensible. One can add syntax highlighting definitions, toolbar buttons, keybar buttons. We borrow the mode concept from Emacs. One can create new mode, or write mode hook to customize an exsting mode.
- Native spell check and suggestions
- Better color theme customization
- Better keyboard support. One can add key bindings for commands
That is quite a lot to do, and to implement them properly will at least take another month. I hope we can have a nice update that is worth the wait.