[OS X TeX] R, paradigm to bring into the LaTeX world?
chabotd at globetrotter.net
Sun Oct 22 21:30:51 EDT 2006
I would like to precise that I was not advocating a new version of
LaTeX that would take fewer MB, and I take full responsibility for
sometimes being unable to do something in LaTeX that a bit of reading
won't fix (in my case, it also means rereading because lapses between
TeX projects are long enough to forget).
But rather I was agreeing with those people who over the last couple
of weeks said things would be even better if it was not so hard at
times to figure out how to perform a new task (some answers were for
a more "organized" LaTeX in terms of packages and documentation. I
agree, but as other said, it may be long in coming.
In the mean time, it would be easier to cope (especially for people
like me) if one could more quickly check what is available. Some of
you mentioned TCOBrowser. Good. I had forgotten about it. And the
latest version is very nice and useful indeed. I admit that with nice
front-ends like TeXShop, an installer like i-Installer, and
TCOBrowser to complete things, we should not complain.
The R-like proposal I made is just one small step further. If you are
not using R, I'll describe what I suggested (but am in no way capable
of making happen) like this: imagine working on a LaTeX document
within TeXShop. You come to a point where you cannot get something
done. You figure there must be a package that does this (or already
know about it). You pull a menu down and select "Package installer",
browse the list of packages that are stored on CTAN, pick one or more
you wish to add to your setup, click Install, then wait a few
minutes. Then you continue editing your document, adding the new
for the newly downloaded package(s) if you wished.
In R there is another menu called Package Manager (the first one was
Package Installer). In that one, you can load a package or access its
documentation and help files. I guess loading packages this way makes
no sense in LaTeX, so that other menu would do a bit what TCOBrowser
does (but right there within TeXShop).
Finally, to complete my analogy, you could call a search box, type a
search string, and the CTAN site would be searched, including package
documentation files and mailing list archives, using your search
term. This would open a window in Safari with the results of the search.
All feasible now by using TeXShop, TCOBrowser, I-Installer and
Safari. But it would be a bit better integrated.
Don't take me wrong, I'm not blaming anybody for the absence of this
system, I'm just expressing the view that if it existed, some people
would find things a bit easier. I had a feeling that when people
wished for things to be a bit easier with LaTeX, the problem was in
giving some concrete examples of what that could involve. This is
just one suggestion. It does not mean that a majority of users and
potential users would support it (over competing suggestions). But it
is a suggestion.
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