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Re: Mac OS X port status and future plans?

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  • A. J. Mechelynck
    ... gvim for Mac Os X is essentially a Unix/X11 program, not fundamentally different from gvim for Linux. It should both have a toolbar and allow resizing of
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 10 7:27 PM
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      Jussi Hagman wrote:
      > Hello,
      >
      > First I want to say that vim is the best editor I've used and I want to
      > thank all the developers, especially Bram for the effort of making high
      > quality open source software.
      >
      > The reason I am posting to the list is that I feel that the OS X port of
      > gvim is not as good as it could be. I'm also a bit worried about the low
      > activity on both macvim-list and macvim.org. So it is not fully clear to
      > me how the OS X related work is progressing.
      >
      > The problems I see with the OS X port of Vim are mainly related to the
      > looks of the program. It does not look nor feel like a "real OS X
      > program". This is because it uses dialogs that look non-standard, it
      > does not have a live resize, it does not contain a toolbar and so on.
      > Not being able to have several vim windows at one time is also one of
      > the griefs.
      >
      > There are also some problems with the antialiasing. The latest vim 7 I
      > compiled (I do not rule out an error there :) Does not do any
      > antialiasing, the previous versions and vim 6.x does it but after some
      > editing there are artifacts that go away as the display is redrawn.
      >
      > So, I'd like to inquire what is the status of the Mac OS---and more
      > specifically OS X---port of vim, how active the development is? I am
      > also very intersted what are the future plans and how is the group of
      > developers are organized, if at all. Are the plans available somewhere
      > or just in Bram's TODO -file?
      >
      > I recall that some time ago there was some discussion of perhaps
      > splitting the development effort in two, Classic Mac OS and OS X, it
      > seems not to have happended. Is this planned at the moment, could this
      > ease the development or just add complexity?
      >
      > This was in no way meant to be against the people who have worked hard
      > on bringing vim to the Mac OS platform. I just wanted to present a few
      > opinions about the current vim port on OS X and hear what others think
      > about it. I hope this will become an interesting and fruitful discussion
      > and it would help to make the OS X port of vim better.
      >
      > Greetings,
      > Jussi
      >

      gvim for Mac Os X is essentially a "Unix/X11" program, not fundamentally
      different from gvim for Linux. It should both have a toolbar and allow
      resizing of its workspace either by mouse or by changing the values of
      the 'lines' and 'columns' options.

      gvim for earlier Mac OSes is a different beast, which doesn't know about
      X11; I think it will run on MacOsX (as a "Classical Mac" application)
      but I'm not sure.

      The toolbar can be disabled at compile-time: try ":echo has('toolbar')"
      (without the double quotes). If it gives a zero answer, you have a
      version without the toolbar feature.

      The toolbar can also be disabled at runtime by removing the T flag in
      the 'guioptions' option.

      See
      :help gui-toolbar
      :help 'toolbar'
      :help 'guioptions'
      :help 'lines'
      :help 'columns'

      I don't know about antialiasing. If gvim 6.3 had it, then gvim 7.00aa
      for the same platform, OS and GUI interface should also have it.

      Finally, in console vim (as opposed to gvim), the items you mention are
      not handled by Vim but by the hardware terminal interface or by an
      emulator like xterm or konsole.


      Best regards,
      Tony.
    • Bram Moolenaar
      ... Me too. Problem is that I m not familiar with the Mac-specific functionality. It takes me relatively much time to work on it. I would have to study the
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 11 2:16 AM
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        Jussi Hagman wrote:

        > First I want to say that vim is the best editor I've used and I want to
        > thank all the developers, especially Bram for the effort of making high
        > quality open source software.
        >
        > The reason I am posting to the list is that I feel that the OS X port of
        > gvim is not as good as it could be. I'm also a bit worried about the low
        > activity on both macvim-list and macvim.org. So it is not fully clear to
        > me how the OS X related work is progressing.

        Me too. Problem is that I'm not familiar with the Mac-specific
        functionality. It takes me relatively much time to work on it. I would
        have to study the Mac GUI libraries to do it properly.

        > The problems I see with the OS X port of Vim are mainly related to the
        > looks of the program. It does not look nor feel like a "real OS X
        > program". This is because it uses dialogs that look non-standard, it
        > does not have a live resize, it does not contain a toolbar and so on.
        > Not being able to have several vim windows at one time is also one of
        > the griefs.
        >
        > There are also some problems with the antialiasing. The latest vim 7 I
        > compiled (I do not rule out an error there :) Does not do any
        > antialiasing, the previous versions and vim 6.x does it but after some
        > editing there are artifacts that go away as the display is redrawn.

        There were some problems with Unicode support. Da Woon Jung sent me
        some patches for this that I included, but it's not finished yet.
        Feedback about what works and what doesn't work will help making it work
        better.

        > So, I'd like to inquire what is the status of the Mac OS---and more
        > specifically OS X---port of vim, how active the development is? I am
        > also very intersted what are the future plans and how is the group of
        > developers are organized, if at all. Are the plans available somewhere
        > or just in Bram's TODO -file?

        The TODO list is the main list of things to be done.

        We are lacking someone who knows Mac programming and can spend time on
        making the Mac-specific parts work well.

        > I recall that some time ago there was some discussion of perhaps
        > splitting the development effort in two, Classic Mac OS and OS X, it
        > seems not to have happended. Is this planned at the moment, could this
        > ease the development or just add complexity?

        Good question. This requires knowledge about what the differences are
        and what the best way is to handle them. I would currently say that we
        work on Vim that runs on OS/X 10.2 and later. That's difficult enough,
        some things are only available in 10.3. The stuff for older OS's can be
        frozen, but it would be good if it still works, thus we don't throw it
        out.

        --
        hundred-and-one symptoms of being an internet addict:
        96. On Super Bowl Sunday, you followed the score by going to the
        Yahoo main page instead of turning on the TV.

        /// Bram Moolenaar -- Bram@... -- http://www.Moolenaar.net \\\
        /// Sponsor Vim, vote for features -- http://www.Vim.org/sponsor/ \\\
        \\\ Project leader for A-A-P -- http://www.A-A-P.org ///
        \\\ Buy LOTR 3 and help AIDS victims -- http://ICCF.nl/lotr.html ///
      • Jussi Hagman
        ... Well, I know it is possible to compile gvim on OS X as a X11 program but I do not find this to be the most native possible port. X11 is integrated to OS X
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 11 6:16 AM
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          Quoting A. J. Mechelynck (antoine.mechelynck@...):
          >
          > gvim for Mac Os X is essentially a "Unix/X11" program, not fundamentally
          > different from gvim for Linux.

          Well, I know it is possible to compile gvim on OS X as a X11 program but
          I do not find this to be the most native possible port. X11 is
          integrated to OS X quite well, but not all users have it installed, gtk+
          is not distributed with OS X (it of course can be compiled quite easily
          by the user). Obviously the X11 software both looks and feels different
          because of the different widgets, fonts and so on.

          > gvim for earlier Mac OSes is a different beast, which doesn't know about
          > X11; I think it will run on MacOsX (as a "Classical Mac" application)
          > but I'm not sure.

          Yes, the current MacOS version of gvim is based on the "classical mac"
          application. It has been ported to use Carbon -API, which is a subset of
          the classical API.

          There are places where it does not feel right as I told in my previous
          mail but IMHO it is much better on OS X than the X11 version.

          > I don't know about antialiasing. If gvim 6.3 had it, then gvim 7.00aa
          > for the same platform, OS and GUI interface should also have it.

          I know, they both should have it but for some reason a recent build of
          vim7 did not, an earlier had. This is not the main problem though and
          may be a result of my poor skills.

          Greetings,
          Jussi


          --
          Jussi Hagman, jhagman@..., iChat/AIM: jussihagman, ICQ: 54004113
          Studentbyn 4 D 33, 20540 Åbo, Finland +358 50 56 51 170
        • Jussi Hagman
          ... OK. So it seems that there is a lack of OS X developers working on porting vim. It would be quite unreasonable to assume you had the time to learn and code
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 11 6:52 AM
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            Quoting Bram Moolenaar (Bram@...):
            >
            > Jussi Hagman wrote:
            >
            > Me too. Problem is that I'm not familiar with the Mac-specific
            > functionality. It takes me relatively much time to work on it. I would
            > have to study the Mac GUI libraries to do it properly.

            OK. So it seems that there is a lack of OS X developers working on
            porting vim. It would be quite unreasonable to assume you had the time
            to learn and code everything yourself. Mac specific development is
            needed.

            > There were some problems with Unicode support. Da Woon Jung sent me
            > some patches for this that I included, but it's not finished yet.
            > Feedback about what works and what doesn't work will help making it work
            > better.

            This is true and it has been gotten better, this is a good thing. Da
            Woon Jung was also very helpful on macvim-list debugging my unicode
            related problems, so there is activity, I'd just like to see more of it
            and it to be more organized.

            I know that is much harder to do than it is to say it. But to have mac
            specific list of things to do on macvim.org and some discussion, maybe
            voting about the mac specific features would be very good.

            > We are lacking someone who knows Mac programming and can spend time on
            > making the Mac-specific parts work well.

            This is quite unfortunate. I would like to help makingvim better on OS
            X. There are of course time constraints and the fact that I have just a
            little familiarity with programming on OS X. All I have done has been
            with the unix API or with Cocoa and the programming has not been very
            large scale nor complex. I know almost nothing about programming with
            Carbon and even less when it comes to its precursor.

            > Good question. This requires knowledge about what the differences are
            > and what the best way is to handle them. I would currently say that we
            > work on Vim that runs on OS/X 10.2 and later. That's difficult enough,
            > some things are only available in 10.3. The stuff for older OS's can be
            > frozen, but it would be good if it still works, thus we don't throw it
            > out.

            In my opinion refactoring the Mac port to OS X and pre-OS X specific
            parts would be a good thing in the long run, it would ease the OS X
            development and minimize the breakage it causes to the pre-OS X
            versions. Of course it would not be easy to keep them in sync
            featurewise, but that should not be the priority.

            Making OS X specific changes easier to do could attract some more
            developers, at the moment if one wants to patch vim he has to know
            Carbon and that is not the most common API one learns nowadays. Also
            testing vim on the older versions of the OS can be a bit problematic for
            most.

            I really hope some people more knowledgeable of Mac programming and vim
            programming on the mac than me would take part on the discussion and
            tell what they feel about this.

            Greetings,
            Jussi

            --
            Jussi Hagman, jhagman@..., iChat/AIM: jussihagman, ICQ: 54004113
            Studentbyn 4 D 33, 20540 Åbo, Finland +358 50 56 51 170
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