[OS X TeX] Various TeX programs on Mac

Chris Skeels Chris.Skeels at unimelb.edu.au
Fri May 7 03:50:23 EDT 2004

> Can anyone with experience with every TeX distribution and editor give  
> their opinion of how new users should be advised?

My guess would be that there is no such person (or at least very few  
such people), but opinions are necessarily objective.  What one thinks  
is a feature another might view as a real negative.

Similarly one might choose to go down a BBEdit or Alpha path for  
reasons only partially related to TeX.  They are very powerful editors  
that can do lots of things neatly.  I recognize that that isn't  
necessarily grounds for extolling their virtues on a TeX web site but I  
am very pleased that I found them as part of learning about TeX.  Their  
other capabilities certainly impact on my preferred TeX configuration  
and I am sure that that is true for others as well.

> If OzTeX et al. are indeed so easy to use, why has everyone latched  
> onto i-Installer & TeXShop?

I don't think this is the right question because they are not mutually  
exclusive.  OzTeX, for example, works quite happily with the TeX  
distribution provided by i-installer and, indeed, I use it that way for  
generating pdf files (amongst other things).  (I should probably say  
that I have no interest in OzTeX beyond it being my tool of choice.  I  
use it for examples because it is the application that I know most  
about.)  A key difference between them is that one provides a dvi  
viewer and others pdf viewers.  From the perspective of printing hard  
copies it matters not one jot.  If you want to post stuff to the web it  
matters more but not really much more as we all have Preview and  
probably some flavour of Acrobat.

To reiterate my earlier post was not a TeXShop bashing exercise nor  
especially a plug for anything else except choice.  One thing that is  
true is that at the moment there exist a bunch of (really) well  
supported options out there, many of which are likely to disappear if  
all newcomers are directed towards a particular one of them.  I just  
cannot see how that is a good thing.


Dr CL Skeels                                  Email:  
Chris.Skeels at unimelb.edu.au
Department of Economics           Tel:      +61-3-8344 3783
The University of Melbourne       Fax:    +61-3-8344 6899
VIC 3010

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