# Mac/Un-mac (was: Re: [Mac OS X TeX] Re: The role of TeXShop)

Thomas Schröder thomas at t-schroeder.de
Thu Jan 17 14:17:06 EST 2002


Hello,

> Fear of being un-mac is dangerous --- in fact the whole philosophy of TeX
> is somewhat un-mac:

After having to use Word and a bunch of other programmes with a similar
approach for more than a year I must disagree. TeX and especially LaTeX
are philosophy wise very mac because they very much like the Mac save the
user from things he doesn't know about or doesn't want to know about. They
make decisions like the Mac at points where the user might be overtaxed.
And most importantly they automatically handle just like the Mac all the
tedious, repetitive and stupid stuff you absolutely do not want to do and
what computers were built for in the first place.

Ever tried to change the standard layout in Word to something
typographically more pleasing? Ever tried to do an index in Word? Ever
tried to use Word's referencing or automatic numbering _and_ changing the
order in which things are kept several times? Ever decided in the middle
of a big project done in Word that A5 in 10pt and sans serif would be a
much better choice for this than A4 in 12 pt and serif? Then you will most
certainly see my point.

That TeX introduces completely new problems that we wouldn't be faced with
without it is on the other hand a completely different story. So is
obviously the memorizing and typing-in of obscure commands ;-)

But like on the Mac, after you get the general idea you can work rather
intuitively because of TeX/LaTeX's consistency in design. After all, many
of the commands do as they say, e.g. \chapter for a new chapter, \alpha
for the greek letter etc.

This is really very OT, but I simply could not resist :-)

Bye, Thomas

--
Thomas Schröder +++ thomas at t-schroeder.de

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