Tuesday, December 14, 2010

LyX 2.0.0 beta 2 released

starLaTeX Community News
10 décembre 2010 16:24
by mailrobot@latex-community.org (Stefan_K)

LyX 2.0.0 beta 2 released

The second beta version of LyX 2.0.0 has been released.

News provided by

The second beta version of LyX 2.0.0 has been released. Testers of the first beta are encouraged to test the new version.
The current stable release for any serious work remains 1.6.
For a list of new features have a look at a previous blog post or visit

This text is available in German. Dieser Text ist auch in Deutsch verfügbar.

LaTeX Community News 10 décembre 2010 16:24 by mailrobot@latex-community.org (Stefan_K) LyX 2.0.0 beta 2 released The second beta version of LyX 2.0.0 has been released. News provided by The second beta version of LyX 2.0.0 has been released. Testers of the first beta ar ... http://yildizoglu.posterous.com/lyx-200-beta-2-released My Posterous: http://yildizoglu.posterous.com {{hash_tags}}

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Compiling Ipe 6.0pre32 on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow

Using these instructions proposed by Sherif Ghali on the ipe mailing list, I have been able to compile it for OSX 1.6.4. Thanks a lot Sherif!
You can read Sherif’s instructions on the IPE mailing list archives.

Installing Dictionnaire de de l'Académie Française in the OSX Dictionary application

You can download from this link a zip file that contains a packager for this dictionary. Thanks a lot to Etresoft! Unzip the archive and double-click on the « Dictionnaire-AcademieFrancaise_1935.pkg » file. After installation, open the Dictionary application and activate this dictionary in the preferences. Voilà!
Thanks to MacOSXHints for this tip!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Replacing PowerPro for Windows with OSX tools

As I have written in my initial switching post, one of the softs that i am missing under OSX is the magical PowerPro (PP) program for Windows. PowerPro is a very small program but it is a real Swiss Army Knife with a very rich set of functionalities (I am sure that during all years I have used it, I have not been able to discover all of them!). I have first find Butler to replace PowerPro for some of the facilities, but inserting text templates (like different greetings in mails or small LateX snippets) was rather painful. First open the shortcuts screen of Butler, then type the alias for the snippet, then type return, etc. Under PowerPro, I could just type ;prop and PP would replace it with
I was used to have at mys disposition a whole set of such snippets for different softs, and was missing them under OSX.
Enter KeyBoard Maestro (KM)! It is definitely not as powerful as PowerPro, but it brings the exact function that I was missing. I can now type ;prop and get the corresponding snippet. Or type CTRL+F and activate the French spelling dictionary in FireFox (combining the very nice Quick Locale Switcher plugin with Keyboard Maestro). KM can do many other tricks (launching programs, resizing their windows, opening some default document by simulating clicks on menu items, etc.). It is not free, but it is not unaffordable either.
You can check its features from this page and, if you are convinced by its possibilities, you can order it from this page.

Living with the reflective screen of the MacBook Pro

My switch to Mac is now complete and I very rarely start Parallels Windows 7 VM. One of the major difficulties I have met with the MBPro is the eye (and brain) strain caused by the very reflective screen of this laptop, when I work outside, under high sun light. Apple indeed does not propose a matte option for the MBPro 13’. Since I have used anti-reflective filters for my PDAs, I knew that such a solution exists. After having done some research on the Net, I have ordered a Nushield DayVue Screen Protector that I have received today.
Installing the filter has been quite a hassle, as its is always the case with this kind of protections. The important point is to install it without capturing any dust between the filter and the screen. I have spent some time to clean the screen of the laptop. I had to admit that I would not be able to eliminate all traces from the glass, since at least one of them has completely resisted all my rubbing efforts. Since it was a very small bump point, I have decide to install the filter anyway. You must be very careful not to capture supplementary dust during the installation. Consequently, you need a dust free environment. Doing the installation in the bathroom, after a hot shower is the trick, since the humidity captures dust particles. With the help of my daughter (installing a 13’ filter is a little bit more complex than a 3’ filter I have used for my PDAs!), we have been able to make quite a nice installation, without many particles and bubbles. When I have finished pushing all bubbles to the borders of the filter, using a credit card, I was ready to test my new screen in the garden:
  • Anti-reflection works really! I continue to see some reflective light on the screen, but it is much less disturbing. The result was quite impressive indeed.
  • The filter does not reduce much the light emitted by the screen. I have read for other filters that their users were complaining about the necessity of using the screen with maximal brightness. I have not observed such a negative effect.
  • The filter does not introduce any distortion in the screen. In fact, I am totally unable to see it on the screen (except in on the very small dust point that I have not been able to eliminate from my screen).
  • My experience with this filter is very satisfactory until now. If I observe new problems, I will edit this post to share them with you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Switching to Mac OSX (Snow Leopard)

I am starting to migrate to Mac OSX my working environment. I am an old Linux user for my servers but I have never been completely convinced by the Desktops for Linux (mainly KDE and Gnome) and gone back to Windows with the introduction of its first usable version (XP). I have deliberately missed the Vista wagon, and have not been impressed by Windows 7. Being tired by the quirks of XP, I wanted to adopt a more reliable and modern interface. OSX seems to me to comply with this demand, and the Unix that is behind the interface is quite a standard one, quite easy to understand for a person used to Linux. I am a happy camper concerning the very well thought interface of OSX.

Migrating my working environment to OSX has not been completely simple. Before the switch, I have, of course, checked that this migration is broadly possible. Here I indicate what was very simple, what was more bumpy, and the points for which I have not yet found a completely satisfactory solution.

Immediate transition for:
  • Internet tools, starting with Firefox (I really need it for Zotero and other tools that do not exist under Safari or Chrome);
  • Latex compilation, just install TexLive, it is perfect.
  • For many aspects of Tex on OSX, check the wiki
  • Simple Latex editors: TexMaker is a very nice multi-platform editor. Aquamacs (Xemacs with an Aqua interface) comes standard with AUCTex, which a very powerful Tex editing and compiling tool.
  • Graphical Latex editors: I was using Lyx under Windows, there is an OSX version.
  • Mendeley Desktop (very nice, bibtex compatible library manager) has an OSX version.
  • Statistical tools: R-project offers an OSX version, perfect for me; it was my main tool under Windows. I am using Aquamacs also for R, since it comes with ESS (Emacs speaks statistics), which is also very powerful. Gretl (econometrics) works under OSX.
  • Java programming: Eclipse works under OSX.
  • NetLogo works under OSX.
  • Bitmap graphics: Gimp also offers an OSX version.
  • Vectorial graphics: JPicEDT is written in Java, so you can use it also under OSX, without any problem
  • MS Office: I am using Office 2008.
  • Picasa has an OSX version (I prefer it to iPhoto, probably because I am too lazy to replace an old software that satisfies me).
  • Skype has on OSX version.
  • Evernote works nicely with OSX.
  • Freemind mind map software also works under OSX (Java).
  • Zipeg is a nice and free zip archive manager.
Problems begin:
  • One difficult point has been to find a nice substitute to PowerPro (this very nifty and talented swiss-army knife utility for managing many aspects of windows and automatizing many tasks). Butler is able to replace some of them. I am learning AppleScript for some other aspects. Don't call this an easy transition ;-)
  • Lyx has problems to import some big Latex files I have written with Scientific Word, so I continue to use the latter under a Parallel's virtual machine :-( I would really have an OSX version of SWP, even if I love Lyx...
  • Unfortunately Entourage in Office 2008 is not compatible with Outlook (such a stupid strategy!); I am waiting Office 2010 that will reintroduce Outlook. I like quite well Apple-Mail but my several years old mail archive is under Outlook format and I do not want to loose mails during the conversion process...
  • Making Inkscape + TexText work under OSX has been a pain. I do not even remember how I have been able to do it (I have followed and mixed several forum post on this topic).
  • Ipe graphics editor for Latex does not propose an OSX version out of the box. It seems possible to compile it for OSX, but I have not had yet the time to do it (it seems a little bit painful).
  • Xara X drawing software for vector graphics. I am really missing this one. I had to install it in the virtual machine.
Nice surprises:
  • Bibliography management for bibtex: I like Jabref (it is multi-platform), but Bibdesk is a very nice reference management tool.
  • Backup: Time machine is very nice and you have also nice imaging tools under OSX. You can use TimeMachineEditor to customize some of its aspects. Backblaze also works for OSX and I have been able to transfer my subscription to the new machine without any problem (be just ready to loose all your old Windows backups).
  • The Agenda of OSX is very nice and simply synchronizes with Google calendar.
  • Bean is a very nice and light Word file editor.
  • Skim is a very useful free Acrobat viewer (and editor). Preview in OSX also very useful (deleting pages, etc.). FormulatePro allows the filling of Acrobat forms.
  • MyMind is a very nice idea editor.
  • WineBottler (free) is a very nice Wine version that allows the installation of some small Windows programs under OSX. I have tested CrossOverX, but have not really been convinced by its advantages.
  • OSX comes with many small and nice utilities (managing hard disk, writing DVDs, etc.).
Conclusion: I am using my virtual machine only for Scientific Word (only for some files, all new files are written under LyX or Aquamacs), Ipe and Xara X. I am quite happy with the coherent working environment provided by OSX. I am not ready to switch back to Windows for some time... :-)