[OS X TeX] Very good introduction IMHO

Jérôme Laurens jerome.laurens at u-bourgogne.fr
Fri May 7 04:29:02 EDT 2004

Le 6 mai 04, à 12:49, Will Robertson a écrit :

> Hi
> All this talk has provoked some of us to try and fix the situation 
> *now*. Unfortunately for my work progress, this includes me :)
> What do you think of (the content of) 
> <http://www.mecheng.adelaide.edu.au/~will/texstart/>?

It is definitely the most simple but it is not really a beginner's 
You are missing the "hello world" kind of documents.

About texstart.tex contents, if the aim of this document is just to 
give an idea of what LaTeX can do and how it works with TeXShop, there 
is nothing I can say. But I am not sure anyone will be able to write 
his own doc after that.

May I suggest a few things to make people really understand how the 
source works and give them the ability to write their own documents 
(see the latex.tex file from Lamport to get an idea)

- add a comment very early saying that '%' starts comments and is 
- the preamble might start before the \documentclass declaration, the 
comment should be more explicit
- comment about macros starting with '\'
- comment on the \lshort definition: it is one of the coolest things in 
- comment on your \pkg definition -after-, see again lamport's latex.tex
- The 0.1 section numbering is not cool! use the \chapter
- add a commented "this is where I start typing the document contents"
- is the pdflatex terminology comment suitable for beginners?
- maybe starting with "what we can do" is better than "what we are" and 
"how we work"
- why not splitting you example in different sources, one for maths, 
one for text, one for sectionning...
this is what I tried to do with iTeXMac but did not find time to 
elaborate precise contents,
no 3rd party contribution neither.

More general comments: you definitely seem to put plain, context, 
iTeXMac and the others out of the road...

May be a title like "Want to try LaTeX?" will fit well, and conclude by 
"if you liked this then go to TeX on Mac Os X web page, or do that".

Finally, I feared my impression was not fair so I asked my wife to read 
the pdf and give me her impression. She is still reluctant in using 
TeX, but no more, no less than before.
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