[OS X TeX] your wiki needs you?

cfrees at imapmail.org cfrees at imapmail.org
Wed Sep 17 18:27:50 EDT 2008

On Wed 17th Sep, 2008 at 18:01, Alain Schremmer seems to have written:

> On Sep 17, 2008, at 5:28 PM, Joseph C. Slater PE, PhD wrote:
>> On Sep 17, 2008, at 5:01 PM, Alain Schremmer wrote:
>>> On Sep 17, 2008, at 4:25 PM, Dr. Clea F. Rees wrote:
>>>> On Wed 17th Sep, 2008 at 12:43, Maarten Sneep seems to have written:
>>>>> <snip>
>>> Considering that, once upon a not too distant time, I was in the category 
>>> "starting out with TeX", I absolutely agree with the above even though I 
>>> am pretty sure I had no idea what a "front end" was.
>>> Perhaps something like "integrated systems", in which the editor and the 
>>> viewer work with each other out of the box, e.g. TeXShop + Preview, might 
>>> be useful and you could even have a sub page entitled "synchronized 
>>> systems".
>> Thus the page 'Getting Started'. I would hope that page would attract new 
>> users and is sufficient to kick start this understanding.
> True, but I think that you still vastly the admittedly fear driven lack of 
> understanding of people considering a possible alternative to MS Word. This 
> is of course not to belittle the page 'Getting Started'.
It depends on the sense in which they want an "alternative". If they
want an alternative word processor, nothing will convince them to use
TeX - and nor should it. But if somebody wants an alternative approach,
that's different.

Changing from Word to TeX is a lot of work. I think you have to have a
burning passion to do it. (The burning passion can be fairly
short-lived - a couple of weeks, maybe.) Otherwise, there's not enough

Nothing is going to make it less work. You have to find out a lot of
things. Then you have to do them. Then you have to convert any existing
projects. Time and effort. Something has to motivate that.

If somebody is comfortable with Word - even a little irritated -
there's just not enough reason to go through the process of switching.

Which isn't to say it isn't good to make it seem less intimidating and
more manageable or to soothe unfounded fears. But some of the fears are
well-founded and there's no getting around that, I think.

>> "Integrated systems" would really require octave for me, so.... no 
>> integrated system exists (I do all my plots using octave via gnuplot). 
>> Therein lies the problem. 'Front Ends' doesn't have an alternative meaning 
>> in people's minds, so we can define it (as has been for years) and put the 
>> definition right at the front 'getting started'.
> I have no quarrel with this (I am using gnuplot but ? ). However, the 
> definition only appears on the fourth line of "Front Ends". And how about, 
> indeed, "combined systems"?
Given what you say about editing, I've moved the definition up. Makes
more sense; matches the layout on the Editors and Viewers pages.

>> TeXShop + Preview is certainly a combination that could use a page on it's 
>> own. Someone just has to jump in and start writing it up (staying within 
>> the principles of the wiki- see guidelines for editing)
>> FYI: TeXshop doesn't work out of the box. You have to install a 
>> distribution as well.
> By the way, although it is now an eternity old, is it possible that, with due 
> and dire warning, my piece
> 	http://www.tug.org/pracjourn/2005-2/schremmer/
> might still be relevant to "Getting started"?
> And now for the expected disclaimer: I am so ignorant that, every time I have 
> to update something on freemathtexts.org I procrastinate as long as I 
> possibly can and then cling desperately to my desk as I press the final 
> button. So, to my great shame, I must confess that my nerves could not take 
> editing the wiki. For instance, I don't even know what a "redirect" is. And 
> yes, I agree, I could learn, but as some on this list are aware, my learning 
> speed is that of a very slow turtle. At best.

For what it is worth, I did not know how to create a redirect until
yesterday. Now I've created at least two or three.

- cfr

> Rueful regards
> --schremmer

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