[OS X TeX] TexShop w/ minimal LaTeX installation for dummies?

Ralph Pöllath lists at poellath.org
Fri May 7 08:35:48 EDT 2004


On 06.05.2004, at 15:20, Stephan Hochhaus wrote:
> Am 06.05.2004 um 13:31 schrieb Ralph Pöllath:
>> Would it be possible to produce a version of TexShop containing a 
>> minimal LaTeX installation in its application bundle?
> As much as I like the idea I have a feeling this is a dangerous 
> endeavour. Since LaTeX is very complex and has lots of packages that 
> one could need in order to process a document properly you'd either 
> have to ensure that all needed (well, what are these anyway?) packages 
> be included in a Tex(Fat)Shop or that your average first-time user 
> doesn't need the packages for sure.
> So what would have to be included? KOMA class or memoir? Only the mere 
> basics?
> I really like the idea, but I fear that new users could easily be 
> "turned off" by the fact that they cannot do one thing or another 
> since there's a package missing.

Actually, I don't think it would be so hard to decide what to include. 
Just give them the mere basics, so they can evaluate whether LaTeX 
makes sense to them at all. Once they decide to use it for a real-world 
document or start looking for advanced packages, it's time for 
i-Installer to take over.

> And I think installing packages is one of the most complicated things 
> for newbies (hey, great idea, couldn't anyone who knows about 
> programming come up with a CTAN-i-Installer that gives you a list of 
> your installed packages and the available packages and automatically 
> install them for you in the right place?).

Nice idea indeed!

>> That would make it extremely easy for first-time LaTeX users (coming 
>> from MS Word, e.g.) to get an impression of what LaTeX feels like. Of 
>> course, this would be suited for exploration only - those who would 
>> like to continue using LaTeX shoud use i-Installer to install the 
>> real thing (think Knoppix).
> What do you think, how big could this thing be so that users still 
> feel they want to try it? I guess a 50+ meg download to try something 
> out is rather little motivation...

As more and more people have access to a broadband internet connection 
(at home or at work), 50 meg isn't so bad at all. Just look at how much 
music people download these days.. And someone who won't download 50 
meg will not be able to install LaTeX via i-Installer either.


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