[OS X TeX] Tex to rtf converter

cfrees at imapmail.org cfrees at imapmail.org
Thu Aug 5 11:06:34 EDT 2010

On Thu 5th Aug, 2010 at 09:42, Joseph C. Slater PE, PhD seems to have written:

> I'll answer Alain, then. Yes, yours. You could have added this long ago. You've been on the list long enough to see such. Googling "add engine script to texshop" yields a first link showing /Library/TeXShop/Engines are where engines reside (the tilde in that link puts them in your personal account). I found two on my computer, looked at them, and they look just like this. Hunting around inside the TeXShop application (which has been explained on this list) you can find the location of all the engines internally defined in TeXShop. In fact, there is a README file in there stating
> "About the Inactive Folder: This folder contains extra engines that are likely to be useful for experienced users but confusing for a beginner." etc.

Note that you do not need to look inside the application itself
(TeXShop.app) if you follow the instructions when updating and have a
recent version of TeXShop. Everything then is in ~/Library/TeXShop/
including both copies of the various items from TeXShop and your custom
additions/modifications. (In some cases, some things may be under New/,
however, to avoid overwriting certain customisations.) And, as you say,
there is documentation in the various folders in TeXShop.app, under
~/Library/TeXShop and from the Help menu in TeXShop.

As for the wiki, I personally found it disheartening to work on it when
I saw questions asked here time and again which I knew to be covered
there; when answers to questions were frequently posted here but not
there; and when there was never any indication that anybody actually
used it.

It shouldn't just be a first resource for people looking for answers,
if the question is likely to be of general interest, it should be the
first resource for people answering them, too. Then whoever
updates/adds to the information there could report that s/he'd done so
here. (It is generally much easier to search for information on a wiki
than in a mailing list archive, in my experience.)

Obviously, there are lots of questions where this isn't appropriate -
when people think they've found a bug, for example, when the question is
specific to a particular document or personal work-flow, or when it
concerns testing, feature requests etc. There are also likely to be
cases where people cannot find the information even though it is there
- perhaps because of inadequate navigational structures which need
updating; perhaps because the person is just very unfamiliar with TeX
and doesn't know what to search for. Those questions are fine but are
best answered by providing a link and updating/improving the navigation
when this is possible.

Obviously, too, we all miss obvious things sometimes and we all ask
stupid questions sometimes. A friendly list should not, therefore bite
our heads off when we do so. But asking questions to which I could
easily find the answer should be the exception rather than the rule.

It isn't just that this makes less work, although this should be true.
The wiki should also provide better answers because the answer on the
wiki should reflect the best ideas from everybody, naturally integrated
as the information is gradually extended and improved. That means that
the second person to ask a question should get a usable answer
immediately rather than there being a need for extensive
discussion/debate to arrive at it. Of course, things are rarely this
perfect in practice, but the structure of the wiki should encourage
this result in a way that the structure of mailing list cannot do,
however knowledgeable and willing its members may be.

I am sure that Alain was, indeed, joking. But the fact that members of
this list are more forgiving of questions which people could easily
research for themselves than many other such lists should not be taken
as a licence to ask here rather than looking it up first. That's just
taking advantage of people's good will.

Except in unusual cases, asking here first because that is
easier/quicker or less work should be regarded as unacceptable. I'm not
suggesting people should trawl through 50,000 google results, but
checking the wiki and TeXShop documentation (if you use something other
than TeXShop, the documentation of that application) should be
expected. Similarly, if your question is about a specific package, some
attempt to find and look at its documentation before asking your
question seems a perfectly reasonable expectation. (For example,
looking for documentation for the package via TeXShop's help menu.)

I'll stop. This is already much too long!


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