January 30, 2018

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 twinit.l.

Some new things came out out during the experiment:

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.