[OS X TeX] Publicon today

Alain Schremmer Schremmer.Alain at gmail.com
Sun Mar 12 11:20:36 EST 2006

Bruno Voisin wrote:

> Le 12 mars 06 à 15:32, Daniel Flatin a écrit :
>> I have been happy with TeXShop so far, but I find myself struggling 
>> with customizing document formats. There are so many different 
>> solutions within LaTeX in general, and in many cases the solutions 
>> are small, purpose specific, and supported by a single author. The 
>> fancyhdr package by Piet van Oostrum comes to mind. Any complete 
>> LaTeX working environment is a pastiche of different packages, each 
>> with it's own documentation, and perhaps second order documentation 
>> about how two packages interact. It seems endless.
> […]
> One of my dreams, for example, would be to have a complete self- 
> consistent TeX-like system that could be taken in some house in the 
> countryside for a month say, without any connection to the internet, 
> and to be able to work from there using this system. With gwTeX you do 
> have LaTeX + packages and their documentation, but at point or another 
> you're looking for something outside core LaTeX and don't know which 
> package to look at, or do not manage to use one satisfactorily, so 
> that in the end you do need to turn to this list or another and 
> interrupt your workflow.
> With commercial software you would probably feel more limited in what 
> can be done, or would experience more bugs, but at least you would 
> have a complete consistent system, with single consistent 
> documentation, and could proceed from that point on.

Well, that may be THE point: with commercial software, you have nowhere 
to go and when the company gets sold, as for instance, FrameMaker, you 
are left in the middle of nowhere—not that you don't know this as well as I.

So, the LaTeX situation may be a least evil :-) .

It seems to me that the way to go should be a bit different. Rather than 
try for the ultimate system for all needs, and to limit myself to 
mathematics, and of course this is probably a severe limit, I would see:
--one basic system, more integrated than gwTeX, for all these people who 
write more or less standard mathematics, such as appears in 
undergraduate textbooks,
--one subset for people such as high-school students for them to write 
their homework
--one set of approved extensions for people who want to customize or 
need to include, say, commutative diagrams, or want to draw in metapost 
or etc.
--and then hooks for the free-for-all, at-your-own-risk-packages in some 
repository like CTAN.

Just some moody Sunday late morning wanderings...

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