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

Alain Schremmer Schremmer.Alain at gmail.com
Thu Jul 13 19:56:28 EDT 2006

AES wrote:

>> 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
> arose.
> 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
> capabilities.
> --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.

1) When I was forced to switch from MS Word to LaTeX, I went through a 
rather unpleasant experience that I wrote about on this list and that, 
inter alia, got me to write a piece in PracTeX Journal.

2) Today, I am not sure that I could live with Textures the way you 
describe it. You might say that I got innoculated with the LaTeX 
anarchism virus. (Being a very old card-carrying anarchist, this is of 
course not too surprising.) For instance, I am using packages that are 
not even in the LaTeX companion 2ed but which make my life incredibly 
less complicated—if not yet easy. My idiosyncratic problems have all be 
solved by people on this list and, somehow, I don't have the feeling 
that they could have been solved with Textures, with or without Becky 

3) As I wrote when I first subscribed here—which got me as close to a 
bit of flaming as ever happens here, the problem with LaTeX anarchism—as 
with anarchism in general—is that it is the doing of a very small number 
of "specialists" who have little inclination or, at least no time, to 
make things approachable to idiots like me. Yes, they will help on 
specific problems, in fact, as much as needed, but all their development 
effort seems to occur elsewhere.

The situation is exactly the same in mathematics. In fact, when I once 
was a bit specific on this list about what my magnum opus was about, I 
was told in no uncertain terms that mathematics was for those who could 
learn mathematics and that I should not go beyond that. It sounded a bit 
as if I was perceived as being treasonous.

4) In any case, I find this discussion a bit strange: we are not talking 
about market share are we? So, let Textures, XeTeX, LyX be for those who 
want it and let LaTeX anarchism be for those who want it.

Best regards

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