History (was Re: texwork (was Re: [OS X TeX] synctex))

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at me.com
Thu Jul 31 09:56:35 EDT 2008

Le 14 juil. 08 à 14:00, William Adams a écrit :

> On Jul 11, 2008, at 3:02 PM, Bruno Voisin wrote:
>> But TeXview drew inspiration from Textures on the Mac, isn't it?  
>> Textures, if I'm not mistaken, was a project launched by Addison- 
>> Wesley which finally was released independently, by Blue Sky  
>> Research (then Barry Smith and Doug Henderson) in 1986.
>> [...]
>> I think I read a text mentioning this history somewhere, maybe by  
>> Nelson Beebe.
> This is a good example of why it's important to get the history  
> correct.
> There was a lot of cross-pollination in this timeframe --- sorting  
> it out would require more than just cursory searching (I'm seeing a  
> usenet post on Textures 1.2 from 23 Mar 1990, but a post on TeXview  
> 1.0 from 5 Oct 1989) --- I'm almost certain Textures was available  
> first though. Searching on ``Beebe Textures Teview'' yielded TUGboat  
> Volume 14, Number 2, July 1993 which mentioned both in different  
> articles (mental note, must dig out archive of TUGboat and transfer  
> over to pen slate).

A few hints just drawn from the TUG site:

- According to the Lance Carnes interview <http://www.tug.org/interviews/interview-files/lance-carnes.html 
 >, in the early days of commercial TeX there was, among other  
implementations, one by Dave Kellerman and Barry Smith (from Kellerman  
& Smith) for the DEC VAX and one by Barry Smith (from Blue Sky  
Research) for the Mac.

- According to an editorial in TUGboat 9 <http://www.tug.org/TUGboat/Articles/tb09-2/tb21beet-new.pdf 
 >, Kellerman & Smith parted ways in 1988, with Dave Kellerman keeping  
the VAX platform and Barry Smith keeping the Mac. Textures was  
announced to reach version 1.01 then.

- According to an earlier bug report in TUGboat 8 <http://www.tug.org/TUGboat/Articles/tb09-2/tb21beet-new.pdf 
 >, Textures was in prerelease in 1987, at version 0.95.

There may be other more complete sources of information, I just  
searched very rapidly through the TUG site.

During this search, I was delighted to find a paper by Stephen Moye <http://www.tug.org/TUGboat/Articles/tb28-2/tb89moye.pdf 
 > recalling practically the very same itinerary as I had myself with  
TeX: discovering TeX though Textures; a few years later realizing with  
awe, through OzTeX, that TeX was a much more complicated beast outside  
of Textures, especially as it came to fonts; fleeing back after some  
time to the comfort of Textures; with OS X, gradually migrating to  
TeXShop; getting that feel-good impression again a bit later, when  
XeTeX and fontspec made fonts manageable at last.

So in this respect one might see a long and tortuous path of user- and  
font-friendly TeX implementations, leading from Textures (Mac Classic)  
to TeXview (NeXt) to TeXShop (Mac OS X) to TeXworks (cross-platform).

It'll be nice if one day the TUG interview corner adds interviews of  
the Textures and TeXview creators, bringing in more reliable  
information on the matter.

Bruno Voisin

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