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

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Fri Jul 14 10:29:35 EDT 2006

On Jul 13, 2006, at 3:35 PM, AES wrote:

> 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 ...


In one word... MacTeX! This will, at a double click, install the very  
complete gwTeX re-distribution of teTeX/TeXLive, TeXShop (a GUI front  
end for gwTeX), BibDesk for maintaining bibliographic data bases,  
Excalibur (a stand alone Spell Checker that understands (La)TeX),  
etc. How much easier does installation it get?

> 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 ...

While the TeXtures documentation was nicely done, I don't believe  
there can be a single document that tells you everything at every  
level! New, useful and updated LaTeX packages are coming out all the  
time and Blue Sky never sent me information on updated packages; as  
opposed to having me spend more money on new versions of TeXtures.  
There is only one way to stay reasonably up to date with bug fixes,  
etc., and that is to get on a discussion list like this or the usenet  

In terms of (really) learning TeX and LaTeX I found the documentation  
that came with TeXtures totally inadequate. For much less money than  
TeXtures you can get a whole swath of well written books at multiple  
levels about LaTeX and using it. After all, TeXShop or TeXtures is  
really a front end to TeX and the typesetting power comes from TeX.  
Remember that LaTeX is dynamic so anything in paper is probably, at  
least slightly, out of date by the time it's published.

As far as TeXShop documentation I have found TeXShop very easy to use  
and, over time and perusing the Help documentation a little bit at a  
time, I've discovered all sorts of nice things that it has to offer.  
A good piece of software offers multiple layers so that you can get  
started fairly quickly and later pick up on new and possibly better  
(a value judgment) way of doing things. Slowly learn about macros,  
auto-completion, command completion, key bindings; these things can  
be great aids and you can usually set them up so that they are most  
useful to the way you like to do things.

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

Umm... see an earlier e-mail for my comment on dealing with Blue Sky  

> 4)  On the features side, Textures provided:
> --I believe, pretty much everything that TeXShop offers, in  a
> very well done, and well integrated package.

Except for all the missing things in a much more complete TeX  
distribution. Having to go through hoops to collaborate with others.

> ...
> --And very well integrated (and well explained) graphics inclusion
> capabilities.

See my comment about collaboration.

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

Hmmm... don't know about that ``stable'' part. I also don't  
necessarily like single source software; e.g., M$.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest.com)

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