[OS X TeX] Follow up on Two problems with Lucida Bright fonts on Mac Tex

Alain Schremmer schremmer.alain at gmail.com
Tue Sep 25 13:09:02 EDT 2007

On Sep 24, 2007, at 7:22 PM, Bruno Voisin wrote:

> Sorry if I seem negative, I am just getting a bit fed up with TeX  
> at the moment. Fed up with having to spend so much time learning to  
> use it and making it work, which leaves so few time for actually  
> using it like the mere tool it is supposed to be. People start  
> turning to TeX in order to get some task done (usually scientific  
> writing), and far too often end up with TeX becoming an activity in  
> itself, no longer a tool to an aim.
> Judging by the messages to this list, and their evolution over the  
> years, I think this is the trap with which most users are faced at  
> one point or another: either they fall inside it, or they turns  
> backwards and go hunting for another more user-friendly (WYSIWYG)  
> tool, with less steep learning curve; but very few manage to avoid  
> the trap and progress forward, reach the point where they become so  
> comfortable with TeX that's it's a mere tool to them, as natural to  
> use as a screwdriver or a pen or a stapler. Which is made all the  
> more difficult as the TeX world is ever changing, especially with  
> the proliferation of LaTeX packages, so that you have to constantly  
> adjust to this ever-changing landscape.

Well, there is my solution:

I  write my stuff, trying to format it to look more or less as I want  
it, with severe insistence on less—which, for instance, involves a  
liberal sprinkling of \hspace and \vspace—with the idea that once the  
magnum opus is uploaded, it will be up to whoever wants to to do it  
according to the heavenly rules of typesetting, mathematical or  
otherwise. So, for instance, I stay with whatever font comes my way.  
Not everyone's solution, though.

Obviously, the LaTeX world needs a dictator, hopefully benevolent.  
May I nominate Bill Gates? I am sure he would accept the role.

On the other hand, seriously, why is it that one can write a  
dissertation on about any subject except, apparently, two:

- Recasting, rephrasing, etc mathematics in a way that is  
approachable by learners—and of course a bit less general. For  
instance, using polynomial approximations instead of limits to  
present the differential calculus. (You should have heard the cries  
of total anguish at AMS/MAA meetings when I suggested that Lagrange's  
approach might be kinder to non-prospective-mathematics-majors. Or  
read Hestenes' Oersted Medal Lecture.)

- Rewriting, integrating, extending etc LaTeX packages. For instance,  
I am told that there is a bug deep into the polynom package which  
makes it impossible to extend or even to complete. Why couldn't a  
graduate student get a degree for debugging the package and then  
extending it? I assume that, as in the previous case, there are "deep  
reasons" for that but considering the kind of flimflam dissertations  
I have seen …

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