[OS X TeX] your wiki needs you?

Alain Schremmer schremmer.alain at gmail.com
Thu Sep 18 20:13:16 CEST 2008

On Sep 18, 2008, at 1:48 PM, Joseph C. Slater PE, PhD wrote:

>> True, but markup need not be very hard either and with good macros  
>> and a flash mode, could be almost by-passed. My point is that for  
>> "ordinary" mathematical stuff, LaTeX could be made to be as easy  
>> as word processors.
> Great in theory, but it's taken years to make LyX really useable in  
> my opinion.

I don't know how it is now, but I didn't like it three years ago.

>> After all, why is LyX the only one?
> LyX does this. What would would the competing version look like?

Wait a minute: TeXShop/iMacTex/TexMate/ … j'en oublie et des  
meilleurs, …

> If it's missing something, put in suggestions to the LyX team. It  
> seems to me that LyX is the only one because it takes an enormous  
> amount of effort, and the pay stinks.

I agree but then again: TeXShop/iMacTex/TexMate/…  and I surely  
forgetting some of the best. So, it has to be something else.

>> Why am I to suppose that it is impossible to write a word  
>> processor in which the algorithms are TeX instead of the usual ones?
> LyX proved it possible. Nobody wants you to suppose that it's  
> impossible. It just hasn't been done yet, except, well, yes it has.  
> LyX is open source, so anybody excited about a competing product  
> could modify it's source code to fit their needs. Alas, there is no  
> magical company providing the free programing for the effort. It's  
> amazing how much does exist given the lack of financial reward for  
> software authors.

I would be the first one to agree. But I would add: it's amazing how  
much (good) mathematics/physics/writing/filmmaking/… does exist given  
the lack of financial reward for the authors.

> That's the "problem" with 'free software'. The users themselves are  
> responsible for all development (with rare exceptions when a  
> company wants to undercut another by giving competing software away).

> If enough people felt another WYSWIG-like program like LyX was  
> needed, they would, presumably, start it. If nobody is interested  
> enough to start coding, there clearly isn't sufficient motivation  
> to get over the critical energy to complete the project.

This is a very narrow definition of free stuff. For example, some  
people may wish better mathematics textbooks than is currently  
available on the U.S. market. They may feel that the current memory  
based template examples, show and tell, drill and test are not what  
they would like to learn from and yet, almost by definition, be quite  
unable to write "reasonable books", that is books that are not  
insults to their intelligence. In any case, that is what motivates me  
to write free books.


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