[OS X TeX] wyswyg-TeX for Linux?

Chris Menzel cmenzel at tamu.edu
Sun Jan 20 17:54:32 EST 2008

On Sun, 20 Jan 2008, Alain Schremmer wrote:
> On Jan 20, 2008, at 12:47 AM, brian at pongonova.net wrote:
>> On Sat, Jan 19, 2008 at 11:29:36PM -0500, Alain Schremmer wrote:
>>> For some reasons, I am under the impression that the code produced
>>> by Lyx is not quite the same as that put out by open packages such
>>> as those to be found, say, on CTAN. More to the point, I am under
>>> the impression that the code produced by Lyx has to be
>>> edited/typeset with Lyx. In which case it wouldn't comply with the
>>> terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
>> Not true.  LyX produces documents that can be read by other LaTeX
>> processors.  I started my dissertation in LyX, and discovered there
>> were some things I needed to do that LyX made somewhat difficult, so
>> I migrated to MacTeX/vim/LaTeX-Suite and used the source document
>> produced by LyX with no problems.  LyX can use whatever LaTeX
>> processor you happen to have installed.

I'm assuming you first exported your document to LaTeX format.  LyX
itself uses its own document format -- I would assume because, unlike
LaTeX code, it is designed to work directly and efficiently with the LyX
UI.  When you want to print or preview your document, the LyX code is
compiled into LaTeX which is then handed to your TeX engine for
processing.  The LyX document format is ASCII-based (you can edit it
directly if you know what you're doing) and, of course, completely
non-proprietary.  The LaTeX code that LyX exports from its own format is
very nice (unlike, say, the deeply hideous "HTML" that Wurd generates).
Hence, it is very easy to begin a document in LyX and at any point
switch to Emacs or Vim for whatever reason.

> Back when I was a student (in LaTeX so it was only some three years
> ago) I had tried LyX but hadn't liked it. Can't remember why though.

The difference between LyX 1.4.x and 1.5.x is quite dramatic.  The most
important improvement for me was the ability to have multiple windows
into the same buffer, which had been a showstopper for using LyX to
write serious papers.

> I am not about to change from TeXShop et al -- I am not about to
> change, period -- but I will now try LyX again to see whether it can
> be put into the hands of my fragile students -- we are not talking
> thesis students here -- but they wouldn't have anything difficult to
> do. The nice thing is that it's also on Windows which is what the
> students all have.

I have converted a number of students to LyX over the past few years.
All of them had been Wurd users and found the switch quite painless and
the experience of dumping Microsoft quite satisfying. :-)

Chris Menzel

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