[OS X TeX] Who should use (La)TeX - who is able to use it?

Fernando Pereira fcnpereira at mac.com
Sun Nov 14 10:35:05 EST 2004

On Nov 14, 2004, at 8:21 AM, Arno Kruse wrote:

> I hope the reader understands my motivation and my sorrows (and looks 
> after my decent ability to write English in a good manner). I fear 
> TeX, LaTeX and Co. are in danger to die out whether they do not match 
> the needs "normal" people are asking for.

Software is always a compromise among conflicting needs and goals. TeX 
and its many packages and derivatives have done and continue to do very 
well for the people they were designed for: scientific and technical 
writers, other authors with very specific typographical needs. It's an 
added benefit if others learn to use and enjoy the benefits of TeX and 
friends, with the help of convenient front-ends like TexShop or 
iTexMac. But decades of experience and failed attempts have shown that 
a powerful typesetting language cannot be successfully hidden behind a 
graphical interface. Even the much simpler problem of graphical editing 
of HTML has not been successfully solved, as anyone who uses 
Dreamweaver knows. And that's a commercial  program backed by the 
development resources of a successful company. Programs like LyX are 
making a valiant effort to prove the skeptics wrong, but my recent 
experience with it didn't do anything to change my assessment.

-- F

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