[OS X TeX] TeX and the wild wild world out there

Alain Schremmer Schremmer.Alain at gmail.com
Wed Nov 29 14:53:59 EST 2006

Adam Goldstein wrote:

> -I wonder if the move to Word will eventually prove more problematic 
> than useful? I have struggled to exchange files using word. 
> *Something* always changes. This is a problem when receiving work from 
> students, in particular. It has also happened to me on more than one 
> occasion that my document has reverted to a past draft when emailed 
> because I used a "fast save" option in Word. This was very upsetting 
> because I got back page proofs that had parts of an old draft and 
> parts of a new one. I wonder how organizers of large conferences and 
> journals cope with this.

It can get ever worse. I don't recall the details but I lost a "long 
document" in Word. And then there is a lot of old stuff of mine that I 
can't even open. That is ONE reason for disliking Word.

> -The NSF (US government) accepts uploads in various formats; 
> apparently it automatically re-formats the text into a standard style 
> no matter what format you use. PDF is accepted, and so is LaTeX 
> source, and Word.

That is interesting. Is there anything known about this?

> -Regarding ease of use, I have never found Word particularly easy to 
> use. As soon as you want to change something that is set automatically 
> by Word, there is an endless hunt among the menus and dialogs to 
> identify the right setting. Usually the help files only point out 
> what's obvious. I usually just end up compromising and accepting 
> something close to what I want.

I absolutely agree with this. It was a royal pain. It is the syndrome of 
MS knowing what is best for you. Of course, right now, on this list, I 
have read some stuff that would seem to imply that they know what is 
best for the rest of us.

The OTHER reason for disliking Word, at least as far as I am concerned, 
is outright political: Anything that attempts to establish a 
monopoly/hegemony is bad for the polis.


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