Re: Documentation (was Re: [OS X TeX] Kanbun (漢文) and French...)

Herbert Schulz herbs at
Sun Jan 4 12:42:02 EST 2009

On Jan 4, 2009, at 11:24 AM, Jean-Christophe Helary wrote:

> Herbert,
> We are not discussing TeX as a software package, for which indeed  
> platform independence is not a trivial matter.
> We are discussing independence from unreasonable (now, in 2009)  
> default settings. What was perfectly understandable choices when TeX  
> was created are obsolete today, thanks to the development of all  
> encompassing encodings, and of fonts that cover big chunck of them.
> When people write papers in Tex and deliver them in Tex using very  
> strict style sheets that _will_ work on the rendering machine, they  
> don't give a damn about what the default font is. Because the style  
> sheet (or template) that they use already sets everything for them.
> But when an individual works on a document that will be rendered on  
> that individual's machine for distribution (and not mainly for  
> modification) then the default values matter. If the default values  
> require a non trivial amount of searching and tweaking before the  
> job can be started then there is a problem.
> The Mac OSX ecosystem is stable enough that one can safely assume  
> that most users will have trivial access to UTF-8 along with  
> corresponding fonts.
> That should be the default expected behavior of _any_ software  
> package that runs on the Mac.
> Anything else is just bad excuses.
> Or give me a plausible example where having an OSX specific default  
> font for MacTex would be a compatibility issue with the rest of the  
> TeX world. After all, if it is that easy to change a font (or an  
> encoding) for beginners, it should be equally easy for non beginners  
> to put Computer Modern in Latin-1 or whatever back it that pleases  
> them !!! But let the default be UTF-8 with a font that automaticaly  
> covers the whole Latin range without having to specify anything but  
> the class of the document !!! There is no technical reason for that  
> not to be the case.
> Jean-Christophe Helary


To me the simplest thing to do is make a template (TeXShop and some  
other Editors come with some installed already) and you don't have to  
re-write that every time. I know that isn't what you want to hear but  
it does solve a problem.

Also, a good fraction of the TeX community collaborates with others  
that use other platforms and anything platform specific will lead to  

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest dot com)

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