[OS X TeX] your wiki needs you?

Joseph C. Slater PE, PhD joseph.slater at wright.edu
Thu Sep 18 11:10:31 EDT 2008

On Sep 17, 2008, at 6:01 PM, Alain Schremmer wrote:

> 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'.

<snip> (yes, I'm snipping parts of my response the cfr beat me to.

  One of the major strengths of TeX is the variety of environment  
within which you can work. I've tried almost every one. I'm partial to  
'free as in beer'.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view

This explains why we don't drive people to TeXShop out of the gate.  
Adding your article (below) as an external link is a way to do this,  
though. Please feel free to.

I'm sure we aren't there yet (NPOV), but we are desperately trying to  
get to a neutral point of view and begging readers to help us with this.

>> "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".
<snip> (my own again)

I should have read the other responses before writing my own...

> And how about, indeed, "combined systems"?

I disagree. 'Front Ends' has been the accepted and understood phrase  
for 12+ years, initially referring to OzTeX, CMacTeX, etc. The  
definition has been refined and evolved since as the community has  
evolved it's usage, but a new phrase adds confusion. You can certainly  
add a page with this name that provides a consensus definition of  
'combined systems' and a list of them. To me, that's MacTeX, Fink, and  

Getting started clearly states get at least one ''each of the  
following'' with a good alternative being to use a front end, defined  
as having both a viewer and editor.

>> 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"?

There are numerous links to external documents on this page. It  
certainly would be worth adding to the list.
> 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.

The turtle beats the hair. Google helps him too:

I learned this about 3 weeks ago.

Because I edited a table in html listing TeX software and links, I  
became considered an expert on LaTeX. Now, because I took charge of  
the wiki, I came to be considered an expert on editing wikis. If I am  
an expert in either, it happened long after my reputation got there.  
All I every tried to do is make good notes for myself and share them  
with the world. So, please don't feel you can't edit a wiki. I  
couldn't a month or so ago either.

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list