Native OSX builds - needs testing


I have made a native OSX builds of Synfig that doesn’t require X11 installed. Please download them and test. Your feedback is appreciated. :slight_smile:

UPDATE 2014-08-18: Native OSX builds now use better GTK theme,


Thank you very much! I realise that most open software is developed on Linux for Linux first, and building for OS X too can be difficult as it requires Mac hardware, so thank you for managing to do it. I started using Synfig for a moderately complex animation recently and I love it, some of the most impressive open source software I’ve used.

I’ve tested the development build VS. the previous X11 development build. This native build seems to be an improvement in every way and I haven’t found any major bugs. It’s great as it is, so the following are just minor bugs and feature requests.

Accompanying screenshots:

I have a 15" Retina display MacBook Pro, I’ll be using “Retina” to mean 2 screen pixels for every 1 window pixel in each direction (or 4 screen pixels in area).

First thing I noticed is (almost) all text is Retina sharp, including labels and menus. I assume you “get this for free” just by compiling GTK natively. The only text I found that isn’t Retina is the rulers. Perhaps that is fixed in the GTK3 rewrite anyway. The text in the Parameters tab is too small though, smaller than under X11. No other text has shrunk in the native build so I don’t know why this would be. It is a little hard to read, but not impossible.

Handles and tools on the workspace are Retina! I was not expecting this. Inkscape’s recent Mac native dev build has blurry tools so I assumed Synfig’s would be too. Nice surprise. I think you’re also ahead of Inkscape on the GTK3 port which is very impressive considering your limited developers. Unfortunately the workspace rendering itself is not Retina. It would be really really nice if it was, as drawing and animating is the main feature and it would look so much better in Retina. I realise this would slow down rendering 4X as there are 4X the pixels, so it might have to be an option, I would love it though. However I know Inkscape is struggling with a Retina canvas, GIMP hasn’t done it either, so I guess it could be a really hard thing to do. If it does turn out to be easy though and you could beat Inkscape and GIMP to a retina canvas I would be amazed.

Icons are not Retina, though I didn’t expect them to be. It’s far more important for text to be sharp so the icons aren’t very important. Nonetheless I don’t know how easy it would be to add Retina icons. For Cocoa apps it’s as simple as dropping an extra double size .png into the assets folder suffixed with “@2x”, for example if you had an icon “brush.png” you would simply add “brush@2x.png” that is double the resolution. I went into the pixmaps folder, duplicated some icons and added @2x (they are already big enough) but it had no effect. From a quick search it looks like GTK2 has no support for Retina, though things display the right size at least and text is sharp, but other things aren’t. GTK3.10+ apparently has Retina support so maybe when Synfig’s GTK3 branch gets merged in this will become possible. … ort-branch I totally understand it’s probably not a top priority. On the topic of icons I see the new brush tool doesn’t have one yet—do you have someone who has done all the other icons or would you like me to have a go at creating one?

Minor UX issue, not new to this build is the order of Yes / No / Cancel buttons. Ideally you would detect the user’s platform and put them the right way round for consistency and so that they don’t click the wrong button out of habit. The way you have them with Cancel on the right is only used by Windows, Android and Amiga. All other OSes put Cancel on the left OS X, iOS, Linux (depending on setup), ChromeOS, WebOS and Haiku (BeOS). So if it would be too hard to detect a user’s platform and swap the button order, I’d recommend putting them the dominant way round which is Cancel on the left. I researched it, blogged, wrote a gem (not applicable for native app development though) … cy-sniffux

Windows behave as expected, Exposé (Mission Control) works, great.

Menus seem a bit buggy (though they are a bit buggy in X11 version too). At one point the secret menu opened on its own and got stuck open. I could even open other menus and it didn’t disappear. Switching to another application I found that the menu was still there on top. Very odd. I can’t reproduce this though. Menus also behave strangely in Exposé, sometimes appearing as their own window, sometimes the wrong size. Menus do appear to be their own windows as when taking screenshots the menus either don’t show with the main window, or the menus are there on their own. It’s strange but doesn’t really matter as using Exposé or taking a screenshot with menus open is somewhat unusual. It’s probably a GTK bug anyway.

Closing the last document leaves an empty main window with no menu. It looks like this is fixed in the GTK3 branch (which is looking great).

Thanks again, those are just minor nitpicks on what is overall an improvement in usability over past versions and will be my primary version now. I remember when there wasn’t even an X11 build of Synfig, you’ve come a long way in the years I’ve been watching, well done. Some of the above might be improved just by GTK3 so you’ll probably wait until that branch is merged before attempting any UI bug fixes.

Hello, Zelgadis

Could you please share the build script/instructions as well? I have trouble to access dropbox here at China.

I’ve uploaded them somewhere else. I don’t know if this site is also blocked in China.

0.64.1: … uartzx8664
0.64-dev: … uartzx8664

Thanks, I downloaded the dev version from this site.

I prepared one, but still don’t get pushed to the repository at the moment. As you can see there are some icons are not updated with Tango icon guideline which we are using for icon theme, if you are willing to help, that would be much appreciated. :slight_smile:

Agree on button order, In fact, I’ve been planning to renew the dialogs for a long time, with that, I would like to address this issue.

hi sfcgeorge, and welcome to the forums…

Thank’s for testing and reporting, could you report those issues to the bug tracker ?

Hello, sfcgeorge! Thank you for the warm and detailed feedback! it is really encouraging. :slight_smile:
We will do our best to integrate Gtk3 branch faster. Also, I would like to try adding a better Gtk theme to provide a native look.

Hi, Jcome! I guess this image is a SVG and the pending task is to convert it into SIF? :slight_smile:

P.S. Sorry for dropbox issue.

its sif version is ready, but there are still missing two icons listed in my todo. My original plan is to complete them, but it might be change, pushing finished ones into official repo the sooner the better.

you can track the icons:

OK. :slight_smile:
BTW, the updated script for native OSX build is pushed into master now -
You will need to delete “~/src/macports” directory before running the script to make sure everything is rebuilt from scratch.

Ok I have added feature requests for the Retina canvas and improving the UX of alerts to the bug tracker. The rest are such minor bugs that will probably be fixed or change with GTK3 that I haven’t reported them. When there is a GTK3 build I’ll test that and see if the bugs are still there or if there are different ones and then report. Overall it’s a great release and very usable.

jcome, that brush looks good, seems to match the Tango guidelines except it’s missing a shadow which all the other tools have. I’m surprised Tango doesn’t have it’s own tools as there are so many open source graphics applications, but judging from its website the project seems a bit dead, lots of broken pages and no updates for years. A shame, but it’s still a good style guide to follow and Synfig’s icons all look pretty nice and consistent.

Zelgadis, yeah a Mac-like GTK theme would be lovely. I’m new to it but I tried messing with some config file for Inkscape and managed to switch between some bundled themes. Some the buttons are drawn with native shapes so are Retina sharp, other themes must use images for buttons as they are horribly blurry. Hopefully there’s a well maintained Mac-like GTK3 theme out there with vector buttons etc. I had a search and it looks like there are some decent themes but I’m not sure how easy it is to bundle them.

Can you please post a links to such themes? I would consider them when will be messing with GTK3 port. :slight_smile:

I don’t know if they are suitable for embedding, or if they are system themes (no idea how GTK works) but here are the 2 I found: … -295087466

Neither is super Mac-like but maybe that’s a good thing as every time a new OS X comes out it will look wrong anyway. Perhaps it is better picking a nice theme that looks good, sharp and is very usable.

I was going to look at what Inkscape uses but as they’re still GTK2 I guess that’s no help.

Thank you!

For GTK2 there is a special “gtk-quartz-engine”, but looks like it is not for GTK3. That’s why I was concerned about finding GTK3 theme. :slight_smile:

The builds now use better GTK theme. Please check out updated packages:

[attachment=1]synfig-osx-0.64.2.png[/attachment] [attachment=0]synfig-osx-dev.png[/attachment]

Well done! Implement global menu for OSX in next step ? :smiley:

now fixed in master branch, the shadow is added.

Hi guys,

I’m a novice with Macs and Inkscape. I love Inkscape but when I downloaded it, the uI appears al pixelated. Do one of these weblink have a download for a fix? Which ink and how do i go about installing the link?

Thank you kindly for your help!


Please contact Inkscape support for that question.