## LATEX-L@LISTSERV.UNI-HEIDELBERG.DE

#### View:

 Message: [ First | Previous | Next | Last ] By Topic: [ First | Previous | Next | Last ] By Author: [ First | Previous | Next | Last ] Font: Proportional Font

Subject:

Re: LaTeX3 goals (was Re: ideal future document processing

From:

Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 25 Jun 1997 20:08:14 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

 text/plain (58 lines)
 Michal Jaegermann wrote: > I think that it is important to remember that there are also whole > communities for which TeX (and LaTeX, in particular) changed the way in > which people are working over new results. No, no publish, no writing > final version of papers, but work - make notes, rewrite them many times, > exchange them, etc. - especially when co-workers in geographically > dispersed places are involved. I agree completely with Michal'point of view. In a talk I gave at TUG's conference in Aston in 1993, I had proposed to call TeX not a NTS system, but a NIELS (from Niels Bohr) to mean "New International Electronic Language for Science". And I said in the introduction (and I still think now): "[...] On the other hand, more and more scientists have access to international networks, and they are now using TeX as a language in the \emph{linguistic} sense of the term, i.e. as a \emph{means of communication}. This implies that TeX must remain stable in time as much as possible, for it to be able to fulfill this communication function. We suggest that keeping TeX unchanged, as desired by many users, is not incompatible with building easy-to-use and powerful TeX-based software, as desired by TeXperts. This can be done by improving front ends and back ends to TeX and making them cooperate with a multitasking OS" Of course, I do not say it is useless to improve LaTeX. On the contrary, improving the packages in tools, graphics, amslatex etc. is essential. But I think it is only part of the story. Comparing TeX/LaTeX to MSWord as Sebastian does (by the way, Corel claims 26 000 000 users of Wordperfect, where are they in the statistics?) is irrelevant because they are not of the same nature. What is relevant, in my opinion, is either: 1 - Comparing TeX/LaTeX to RTF ; and there LaTeX is vastly superior for scientists, for the simple reason that there are no formulas in RTF. They are borrowed from an external software written by a third party, and included in MSWord through links, as PS figures are included in LaTeX through \special's. 2 - Comparing emTeX, 4AllTeX, AsTeX, TeTeX and other freeware TeX-based authoring tools to MSWord. And all of these are under constant improvements, I think. > When I have seen Sebastians question why some SGML markup is less editable > than '\frac{a}{b}' I thought in the first moment "this guy is joking or > inhales too deeply who knows what". Only later I realized that he sees > only the final stages of a science paper production so he can afford > to be stuck in some fixed environment where he may have some specific > editor making some hair-raising markup workable. In "other reality" a > very important aspect of LaTeX is that you are sending the whole text, > or pieces of it, far away and you do not even bother to ask what your > respondent happens to run, on what, and which particular piece of an > editing software s/he has and likes/dislikes[...]. I agree also completely with these points. Michel Lavaud ([log in to unmask])