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Timothy Murphy <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 8 Jul 2003 10:28:19 +0100
text/plain (38 lines)
On Tuesday 08 July 2003 02:49, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:

> Believe me, I know where beginners have problems.  Noone had problems
> with spaces, they can use any feature described in a book.

I agree completely.
The whole basis for the proposal --
that students find LaTeX syntax difficult --
is entirely misconceived.

A student who can prove the Implicit Function Theorem
is unlikely to be baffled by the (not very difficult) rule
about spaces after \commands.

In so far as students have objections to LaTeX
it is on the grounds that it is not WYSIWYG,
and therefore appears old-fashioned.
(I'm not saying that I agree with that argument;
just that it is what a certain percentage of students feel, and say.)

Incidentally, not only is this proposal misconceived,
but in my opinion so are most of the proposals for modifying TeX
put forward by our masters --
most of these proposals are intended to answer problems
which never actually arise in real life,
but are products of the fevered imaginations
of people whose time would be better spent
studying Sanskrit.

Knuth was right 99.9% of the time.

Timothy Murphy
e-mail: [log in to unmask]
tel: +353-86-233 6090
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland