[OS X TeX] Macintouch report on TeX versus Word
schremmer.alain at gmail.com
Mon Jan 19 12:55:26 EST 2009
On Jan 19, 2009, at 11:54 AM, Michael Sharpe wrote:
> There was a reader report on Macintouch last Saturday:
> Briefly, it was claimed that 95% at NASA produced tech reports
> using Word/MathType, and that many of the less than 5% written in
> TeX could not be processed in a timely way because of macro
> problems. I would guess that the real problem was that NASA was not
> providing proper guidelines for TeX use, and most likely lacked
> TeXpertize in their Technical Publications office.
The question, though, is how much "guidelining" NASA needed to
provide to those who used Word.MathType. My guess is, a lot less, if
any. So, why indeed should they bother with "TeXpertize in their
Technical Publications office"?
In other words, there is something very wrong in the LaTeX world as
it is. Yes, it does superior typesetting and that is the thing for
those of us who can recognize and love beautiful typesetting. But
most of "the rest of us", myself included, do not have the eye to
distinguish, say, Times from CM or Latin or whatever looks like it;
we just need something non-obstructive to write with. (And yes, one
of the two reasons I jettisoned MSWord was that it was obstructive—if
in a very different way. The other was that it was proprietary.)
Indeed, the macro problem does point at a real issue. TeXLive seems
to have seriously diminished the installation problem and
TeXLIveUtility the maintenance problem. But there remains the "LaTeX
is not for the faint of heart" issue.
There is a real need for the kind of rethinking of LaTeX that I think
Voisin was advocating.
Else, it soon won't be 95% but 99.99% and going.
How is LyX doing?
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