[OS X TeX] New alpha Textures with support for graphics

AES siegman at stanford.edu
Thu Jul 13 16:35:30 EDT 2006

>Just curious--what does Textures offer that TexShop et. al does not? I
>tried to download a version to try, but apparently you already need to
>be a registered customer. (This company charges $30 just to demo one of
>its other products...)

Warning: lengthy reply.

Responding based on my 1-1/2 decade long experience with Textures on
Mac OS 9 and earlier (my notes show I purchased Textures v 1.4 in
July 1991 and I possibly had earlier versions before that) . . .

And answering just "off the cuff" . . .

For TeX users -- people who just wanted to do useful work with TeX ,
without having to get involved in learning about and being confused
by multiple options -- Textures offered:

1)  *One* single complete, fully integrated, highly functional, "load
and go" package, from *one* source, and with *one* set of
documentation, for *everything* needed to "do TeX" (and LaTeX) in
a very full and complete fashion  [as contrasted to having to learn about
and sort out a complex array of packages, components, subcomponents,
installers, etc, from multiple sources, with multiple documentation,
and complex links, that even computer-literate TeX users can find
intimidating and only UNIX devotees can really understand].

2)  *One* single articulate, detailed, very well-organized, very
well-written, attractively printed and bound, highly readable,
213-page, well-indexed *manual* that supplied everything both a new
Textures user and an experienced TeXpert needed to know, in a way
both could easily access [as contrasted to a Help system readable
only on line, with something like 60 or 70 individual help topics,
each of which can only be navigated to and read one at a time, with
no way to page through (or even print) the whole file at one go]
[and that's only for TeXShop itself, not all the auxiliary TeX engine
stuff and etc that you get with MacTeX and have to use in
combination with TeXShop]

3)  Friendly and very helpful -- at least in my personal experience
-- Blue Sky staff for any problems or questions that nonetheless

4)  On the features side, Textures provided:

--I believe, pretty much everything that TeXShop offers, in  a
very well done, and well integrated package.

--Plus interface features like a very helpful "blue line" outline of
the typeset area in the preview window, that changed shape with
  changes in \hsize and \vsize.

--And very well integrated (and well explained) graphics inclusion

--And probably other stuff that I'm just not thinking of.

from, again, *one* integrated and stable source.

I do want to make clear: I'm absolutely not at all knocking (or
failing to appreciate) all the hard work and effort that has
obviously been expended by many people in developing and making
available the present TeXShop/MacTeX combination, with all their
features and options.  I got TeXShop, etc, working with minimal
hassle from the MacTeX distribution.

And, while I consider TeXShop's documentation inadequate, or let's
say minimally adequate at best, and think some of its aspects could
stand improving, I still really do appreciate that overall TeXShop is
a very major contribution by its author, and appreciate all the
effort that its author must have put into it.

But, if Textures comes back to life in anything like its old form --
as seems to be happening -- I'll absolutely be a paying customer.

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