[OS X TeX] Imposing Latex on authors of articles

Thomas Käufl kaeufl at ira.uka.de
Tue Feb 26 17:10:21 EST 2008

Am 26. Feb 2008 um 15:58 schrieb ludwik kowalski:

> I am a new subscriber. About a week ago I successfully downloaded  
> and installed Latex software on my new iMac.  Then I started to  
> learn how to program in Latex language. So far I complied only  
> several short input files. What follows is an extract from notes I  
> am composing for myself. Do you agree with my observations? If not  
> then why not?
> Thanks in advance,
> Ludwik
> ...
> 1) Typing something without seeing the representation at the same  
> time (as in writing by hand or with a word processor) seems  
> unnatural to me. Writing usually goes along with thinking; we often  
> think better when we write.

Agreed, provided, if you say "when we write by hand".

The solution for me is: When I must find a proof or ponder about
its presentation in a lecture, first I do it with pen and paper.
In the second step, I fire up LaTex.

That was already the case, when I used FrameMaker (or WriteNow --
does anybody remember this text processor?)

> There is nothing wrong with this. It would probably be better not  
> to merge the process of typesetting with the process of  
> mathematical thinking. Mental energy of users of mathematics should  
> be used on mathematics itself, not on nitty-gritty rules, commands,  
> and error messages. By learning Latex language one does not become  
> a better mathematician, physicist or engineer.

That also applies to word processors or publishing systems like  
In my opinion the proper use of these systems means the employing  
styles etc. And this has to be learned.

> 2) In my opinion dissertations written with word processors should  
> be accepted by universities. Likewise, papers written with word  
> processors should be accepted by editors of scientific journals. ...

You forget the material necessary for lectures. Neatly handwritten
notes may be sufficient. But when you reorganize your material, add
new topics and delete other ones, this is done better (less time
consuming) with a publishing system or LaTeX. Three years ago I
switched to LaTeX and now I think it was a good decision.

Thomas Käufl

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