Lugaru's Epsilon

Epsilon User's Manual and Reference
   Getting Started
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Epsilon User's Manual and Reference > Getting Started > Mac OS X Installation >

Using Epsilon under Mac OS X

When you run Epsilon for Mac OS X as an application bundle, the Finder runs a shell script named MacOS/start-epsilon within the bundle. This script picks the best method to invoke Epsilon. If there's a DISPLAY environment variable, indicating X11 is already running, it simply executes bin/epsilon. Otherwise, if X11 is installed, it uses X11's open-x11 program to start X11 and run bin/epsilon within it. Finally, if X11 is not installed, it runs the bin/terminal-epsilon program, which can run without X11.

If you want to create a link to Epsilon in a common bin directory for executables and retain this behavior, create a symbolic link to its MacOS/start-epsilon script.

When the MacOS/start-epsilon shell script uses open-x11 to run Epsilon, the Epsilon process created may or may not be a child of MacOS/start-epsilon. So passing special ulimit or environment variable settings to it can't be done by simply wrapping this script in another. The MacOS/start-epsilon script sources a script file named ~/.epsilon/start-epsilon.rc, if it exists, which can set up any special environment or ulimit setting you want, and loads any resources defined in your ~/.Xresources file.

When Epsilon runs under Mac OS X, certain keyboard issues arise. This section explains how to resolve them.

  • Mac OS X normally reserves the function keys F9 through F12 for its own use. Epsilon also uses these keys for various functions. You can set Mac OS X to use different keys for these four functions, system-wide, but the simplest approach is to use alternative keys in Epsilon.

    For the undo and redo commands on F9 and F10, the undo-changes and redo-changes commands on Ctrl-F9 and Ctrl-F10 make fine replacements. Or you can run undo and redo using their alternative key bindings Ctrl-X u and Ctrl-X r, respectively.

    For the previous-buffer and next-buffer commands on F11 and F12, you can use their alternative key bindings, Ctrl-X < and Ctrl-X >, respectively.

  • Under X11, Epsilon uses the Command key as its Alt modifier key. X11's Preferences should be set so the "Enable key equivalents under X11" option is disabled (called "Enable Keyboard Shortcuts" in older X11 versions); otherwise the X11 system will reserve for itself many key combinations that use the Command key. Alternatively, you can substitute multi-key sequences like Escape f for the key combination Alt-f. See the alt-prefix command.

  • When Epsilon for Mac OS X runs as a console program because X11 is not installed, it uses the TERM environment variable and the terminfo database of terminal characteristics. If you run Epsilon under a terminal program like Terminal and the TERM setting doesn't match the terminal program's actual behavior, some things won't work right. As of Mac OS X version 10.4, it appears that no setting for TERM exactly matches Terminal's default behavior, but the "xterm-color" setting comes closest. Select this option from Terminal's Preferences.

    With the xterm-color setting, function keys F1-F4 may not work right; the commands on these keys almost all have alternative bindings you can use instead: For F1 (the help command), use the key labeled "Help" on Mac keyboards that have one, or type Alt-? or Ctrl-_. For F2 (the named-command command), use the Alt-x key combination instead. For F3 (the pull-word command), use the Ctrl-<Up> key. For F4 (the bind-to-key command), type Alt-x bind-to-key. Or you can change Terminal's settings for these keys, or the terminfo database, so they match. But the best way to avoid these issues entirely is to install X11 so Epsilon can run as an X11 program, as above.

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