[OS X TeX] Re: Focus (was: Various TeX programs on Mac)

Dr.John R.Vokey vokey at uleth.ca
Sun May 9 01:54:29 EDT 2004

I have to agree with Joachim Kock, but only insofar as what is 
important is one input, many outputs.  I routinely use apa.cls, which 
has multiple outputs (jou---output in the format of the APA JEP 
journals, doc---document, similar to article, and man---manuscript: 
conforming virtually perfectly to the APA 5th Edition style manual 
format) from the same input.  It uses apacite internally (so, requires 
bibtex), and various other .sty files.  It is brilliant, taking care of 
all of the formatting details, leaving me to concentrate on the 
writing, *not* the formatting.  With tex4ht, I can also pipe the *same* 
input file to well-formatted html.

Admittedly, the learning curve is/was steep.  I started in Scientific 
Word (for about a day, and then realised what a mistake that was, and 
moved to more basic LaTeX via OzTeX---still, the simplest, most 
straightforward TeX installation for the Mac user).  With that 
experience, when TeXShop and i-installer came along for OS-X, I was 
ready to move, but I still think that for the newbie something like 
OzTeX is the way to go (not that OzTeX is just for the newbie---indeed 
in many respects it is probably better for the sophisticated user as 

But, I think that is the point: the learning curve is steep, mostly 
because one has to unlearn all of the pre-mis-conceptions arising from 
WYSIWYG do-all-but-none-well word-processors.  But, what of it?  Said 
differently, who cares?  I have managed successfully to proselytise 
TeX/LaTeX to students (who have continued the process) and colleagues 
despite the learning curve.  Once they saw what I could do with 
TeX/LaTeX, and easily, they wanted it, and were willing to invest the 
time and effort necessary to achieve at least some competence.  But, 
and it is a big but, I provided them all of the steps and details to 
get started *for our small corner of the TeX/LaTeX world*---producing 
manuscripts in experimental psychology.  Anyone who thinks that one can 
do the same *in general* is just plain nuts.  And that 
assumption/desire appears to be what underlies the current discussion.  
I think TeXShop and i-installer come as close to a *general* solution 
as one can get: for all of the rest, like-minded types have to talk 
with one another and generate there own solutions, discussion, FAQs and 
.sty files.
John R. Vokey, PhD
B.E.R.G. - Behaviour and Evolution Research Group
Micro-Cognition Laboratory
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 3M4

Please see <http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/> for list
guidelines, information, and LaTeX/TeX resources.

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list