[OS X TeX] TeX is not for the faint of heart

Michael S. Hanson mshanson at wesleyan.edu
Tue May 4 10:24:03 EDT 2004

On May 4, 2004, at 9:44 AM, Bruno Voisin wrote:

> Le 4 mai 04, à 15:07, Michael S. Hanson a écrit :
>>> Gerben Wierda wrote:
>>>> Who can get me a basic set that I can put on the Desktop (after 
>>>> asking the
>>>> user of course and only during non-expert install)
>> 	I understood Gerben was looking for existing documents, rather than 
>> a comprehensive example file, to place on the desktop.  That said, I 
>> have some additions to the proposed document below.
> Thanks for your list of useful URLs. However, what I had understood 
> was that Gerben was asking for a selection of files to be taken from 
> the many doc files inside teTeX, then converted to PDF and put at a 
> more visible location.

	Yes, but in the second part of my comment (not quoted here), I 
suggested what I still think is a better alternative:  at the 
conclusion of the base TeX installation with i-Installer, automatically 
(in non-expert mode) open a web page with some basic documentation.  I 
think such immediate feedback (more in-your-face, if you will) is 
preferable to dumping stuff onto the Desktop (particularly for those 
with really cluttered desktops, or those -- like myself -- that never 
use it).  Plus, it would be easier to maintain updates of this 
documentation if it is on-line, it could be made more Mac OS X specific 
(see below), and while one or two documents could be highlighted (the 
cathedral), additional resources could be referenced as well (the 
bazaar).  And, with the documentation available on-line (much of it 
already in PDF form), linking directly to those would help keep the TeX 
i-Package "slimmer".

	In fact, I would not mind if in non-"non-expert" mode, a web page that 
listed recent changes, a version history, and another other important 
information were to pop up.  But then I always have a web browser open 
and I don't mind pressing Cmd-W once.  Others may (strongly) disagree.

> For example, the Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX is already there, 
> but buried and in the inconvenient DVI format:
> /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.tetex/doc/latex/general/lshort.dvi

	This is a fine document, but likely ill-suited for the type of new 
users recently being discussed.  For example, it recommends executing 
'latex' from the CLI, and discusses working with .dvi files!  All of 
which may be useful for some folks, but most certainly not to the rank 
beginner who (likely) chose OS X over some other Unix/Linux 
distribution for a reason.

                                         -- Mike

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