Lyx and UltraEdit

December 21, 2010 at 4:13 am

| Gabriel |

I’ve been using the beta of Lyx 2.0 for a few weeks now. The first beta was unstable but the second beta has yet to crash or otherwise give me problems so I’ve gone ahead and committed to the new file format (which is still a dialect of TeX, just a slightly different one). I generally find it to be a big improvement in all sorts of subtle ways, particularly how it resolves subtle dependency issues. For instance, I could never get Lyx 1.6.x to recognize the Aspell dictionary on my Mac so I’d have to run a Ubuntu VM to check my spelling. Lyx 2.0 automatically reads the Mac OS X dictionary.There’s also an amazing “compare documents” feature that lets you diff any two files but instead of standard diff output it gives you something that looks a lot like “track changes” in Word. The full list of features is here.

You can download the beta here. Note that this is an ftp not web link and some browsers don’t do FTP so either use an FTP compatible browser like Chrome, an FTP enabled file manager, or a dedicated FTP client. The “dmg” link is for Macs and the “exe” link is for Windows. Note that the Lyx 2.0.x file format is not backwards compatible with Lyx 1.6.x software although Lyx 2.0 beta can export to the old format.

The other software I’ve been playing with is UltraEdit for Mac, for which I was a beta tester. Overall it strikes me as a very good editor and they’ve made admirable efforts to make it Mac native but it still looks like Windows software because it has one big window with internal demarcation rather than lots of floating pallettes, etc. Anyway I’m going to stick with TextMate (which has better language support for the languages I care about) and TextWrangler (which I find more intuitive for batch cleaning files) but I think people transitioning from Windows to Mac might be well served by UltraEdit, especially if they used it (or similar software like Notepad++) on Windows.

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