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

Alain Schremmer Schremmer.Alain at verizon.net
Wed May 5 22:43:03 EDT 2004

I was just making a suggestion in reaction to the fact that the names of 
a lot of i-packages are less than completely transparent. I assume that 
you are not in command of these names and, in any case, as I believe "m" 
wrote, the name is not what matters.
As for the analogy with VISE, I am afraid that MS is notorious enough 
not to need any introduction.

Please understand that I am absolutely not holding you or, for that 
matter any one, responsible for any of what I have deplored here. (It 
would be silly as well as vastly unfair as I have had more help here 
than I even conceived was available.) Plus I am grateful and loyal to 
TeXshop + i-installer and have writtten so, here, many times.

I merely think that with minimal improvements, TeXshop + i-installer 
could be the choice of many /more/ people. How many math teachers, say 
in two-year colleges are using it? Consider, for instance, that 
submissions to The /Review/ of the American Mathematical Association of 
Two-Year Colleges are to be in MS Word and that it is typeset in MS Word.

My particular interest is that in order for texts to come under the GNU 
Documentation License and to be placed on the site my colleague and I 
are preparing, they will have to be in TeX. But, in my experience, not 
many of my Two-Year colleagues write in TeX. And, until they do, the 
students will have to pay outrageous amounts for commercial textbooks 
that change just enough from year to year to have killed any second-hand 

One last thing that I deplore is that, being on my way out, I /have/ to 
spend what time I have left to where I can be most efficient, that is to 
write a mathematics textbook, and that I /cannot/ do more than suggest 
(and to pay for a mactex.org name or whatever would be most 
appropriate). In other words, I regret that I cannot participate, if 
only because I am a programming illiterate, in the work that would be 
necessary to address what I think would be needed.

Finally, even though I continue to read this mail, I have to desist from 
further participating in the discussion as I /must/ get back to 
recasting what I already wrote of my book in TeX and then continue 
writing it. And work on the site.

Similarly, I must also decline Wendy McKay's flattering invitation. At 
least until I have caught up with my work. But I would like to be on the 
mailing list if I may be without participating.

Regards to all.

Gerben Wierda wrote:

> On May 6, 2004, at 01:59, Alain Schremmer wrote:
>> (4) I just installed 2.65.1 There is just enough room in the new 
>> i-Directory window to have a "What i-package does." For instance, for 
>> rtf2latex2e, it could say
>>    Concerts you MSWord files to LateX files (after you have resaved
>>    them in MSWord as rtf document. To use rtf2latex2e, Go Applications
>>     > Utilities > Terminal (if not there, type Command F and search for
>>    Terminal). Type "rtf2latex2e" without the quotes and a space. Drag
>>    the file to be converted into the Terminal. You will find the LateX
>>    version of your rtf file right next to it. Do not expect a perfect
>>    conversion. Problems are likely with tables and graphics.
>> The point here, as you said, is at least as much psychological as 
>> technical. For instance, the point of the last two sentence is to 
>> avoid  "What did I do wrong?" and leave me relaxed enough that I can 
>> examine what happened.
> i-Installer is for installing rtf2latex2e, not for teaching you what 
> it is. The VISE installer for MS Word is for installing Word, not for 
> teaching you what Word is or how to use it. Etc.
> G
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