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Phillip Helbig <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 10 Nov 1998 18:05:04 GMT
text/plain (121 lines)
> Phillip Helbig writes:
>  > Let me just add my 2" from someone who has had good experience with
>                        ^
> so, in VMS world you pay for things in inches. figures.

Well, that was `compose c |' so I guess you don't have the DEC
multinational character set available and/or don't have 8-bit email.

I routinely use compose sequences for stuff like  and so on when
sending emails to Scandinavian colleagues.  Even if they don't do email
from VMS, it arrives as intended.  I guess it's down to where their
8-bit character set corresponds to the DEC Multinational Character set.

OK, back to 7-bit printable ASCII mode:)

>  > developed by the `select few'.  I have the impression that a lot of
>  > LaTeX developers prefer VMS (including Lamport?) so I might be preaching
> gracious? are there are LaTeX developers using VMS? those strange
> e-TeX people do, I assume, but beyond them?

Yes, beyond them.  I won't mention any names but let other list members
out themselves.  :}  (My favourite(?) response to `I use VMS' is `is
that still legal?'.  VMS is MORE modern, has MORE features, is MORE
robust and MORE up-to-date than any other OS; some people think it's old
and unix is new (actually unix is older) or compare 20-year-old VMS
machines to new unix ones and don't consider the comparison the other
way around.

> sorry, but i think thats an argument for Bazaar. as it stands now, "contrib"
> is beyond the pale, roll your own, unknown, orphan. it needs bringing
> into the fold.

Yes, but one could integrate it into the cathedral as, not a
cornerstone, but an additional chapel.

>  > Although I enjoy system maintenance, I would prefer to do `real work'
>  > and not have to daily monitor the net for the latest updates.
> why should you? surely this whole exercise is not for the casual user;
> most Linux users dont recompile their kernel daily, after all, but get
> a new CD once a year. the stage i want to reach is that those CDs
> would be built on the same premises

The casual user suffers if a colleague uses some non-core stuff which is
not at his installation.  The only solution is a canonical installation
which includes almost everything.

> i am not sure the objective quality of Linux is at issue. would anyone deny
> that its an extraordinary creation, by an unusual process? if its good
> enough for Bill Gates' minions to attack, its good enough for
> me....

Well, I have other quality criteria.  :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

> (strange, where are the Microsoft memos attacking VMS? oh no,
> sorry, they won that war some years ago :-])

Not at all.

>      OpenVMS systems enjoy a leading market share in many worldwide
>      business-critical markets, and its growth continues as noted that
>      one out of every five OpenVMS AlphaServer 8200 and 8400 systems
>      are being purchased by customers new to Compaq. OpenVMS is the
>      number one rated operating system in the healthcare market, and
>      OpenVMS has a dominant share of the worlds lottery market. More
>      than 90 percent of the worlds CPU chips are manufactured on
>      lines running OpenVMS, more than 50 percent of the worlds
>      cellular phone billing systems run OpenVMS. And 75 percent of the
>      worlds top financial exchanges run on Compaq OpenVMS and Tandem
>      Himalaya systems.

There are a lot of things which are too important for anything but VMS.
Not highly visible in the academic community, unfortunately, but
millions of systems world-wide doing lots of important stuff (like
controlling Intel production lines:).  I've heard a couple of stories
from BIG companies which tried to switch to unix then WENT BACK to VMS.

With Compaq now SELLING VMS (my only gripe with DEC of old was that it's
marketing was not as good as its products---but that's still better than
the other way around) we will see a renaissance, especially after people
start using the Galaxy software (for some applications, an order of
magnitude more efficiency ON THE SAME HARDWARE than with another OS).

>  > Getting back to the original thread, from my point of view a goal in
>  > using LaTeX for journals is that one can use the full strength of LaTeX.
> speaking from the point of view of a commercial publisher, we'd rather
> you didnt use LaTeX at all, full stop :-}

That's fine.  But if the publisher ASKS the author to use LaTeX, I think
it should be something other than some badly hacked custom .sty files
back from the 2.09 days.

>  > So I think all essential stuff should be in the core part and not in the
>  > contributed part.  Since the contrib stuff is not in all distributions
>  > etc it's almost as bad as having to find the various packages outside of
> this is the whole point of the argument, surely?! to get the contrib
> stuff OUT of that state, and into a mode where everyone knows that
> "natbib" is part of "latex level 2".

Yes, that's the goal, but the question is: the bazaar or make it part of
the cathedral somehow.  Or perhaps there's another paradigm?!

>  > them etc.  And keep in mind the colleague is often not a LaTeX guru but
>  > just a normal guy.
>  >
>  > To me, this implies cathedral mode.
> but our bishops dont have the resources to maintain the fabric; they
> can just keep the roof on the chapter house, and the naves are full of
> chickens. they need a police force to clean up the whole building

Perhaps some of us should form an order and become monks?!

Phillip Helbig                          Email ......... [log in to unmask]
Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories   Tel. .... +44 1477 571 321 (ext. 297)
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