[OS X TeX] My Soap Box

Rob Rye rowenrye at gmail.com
Fri Feb 11 03:09:35 EST 2011

On Feb 10, 2011, at 9:16 PM, Adam M. Goldstein wrote:

> On Feb 10, 2011, at 5:37 PM, Richard Koch wrote:
>> Folks,
>> Every few weeks we run into the "start a new thread" discussion. In my opinion
>> this is not the fault of the people posting, but instead the fault of the software
>> designers. It is entirely reasonable to assume that threads are "defined" by the
>> title of the message, with or without a "Re:" It is completely baffling that they are
>> instead defined by a hidden field in the header --- hidden at least to those of us
>> who use OS X's Mail program with default values.
>> A completely natural way to write a note for OS X TeX is to find an old message in
>> the list, click "Reply" to get a message with the address already filled in, and
>> then change the "Subject" field.
>> The history of email is perhaps against fixing this problem, but we need to be gentle
>> with those who do the reasonable thing and then get bitten. 
> Keyloggers, a centralized database with each user's history of thread-hijacking, use the built-in camera to track the user's eye movements and facial expressions to determine whether he or she is about to hit "reply" rather than "new", semantically-enable indexing of the user's mail messages as they are being composed, to determine whether a new thread is being started. All this, together with a script that plays a video of Dick kindly instructing the user what to do and politely apologizing on behalf of all the email application writers---this should do it. For repeat offenders, the script shows a disappointed looking Don Knuth shaking his head as one of the user's LaTeX files is opened in MS Word, then saved as a .doc file for Word 5.1. The original is deleted, and so are all of its revisions in Time Machine databases.

I was with you until you saved the offender's document as a Word 5.1 document. I mean, I think we really want to make the lesson stick without our having to interact with MS products. So, why not make it an Apple Pie Text Editor document? I could even dig up an old Apple IIe that they could read it on, and I know where I can lay my hands on a copy of the documentation for the software. So at least it could then be edited and even printed out, on a dot matrix printer of course.


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