[OS X TeX] TeXShop Feature Request

Alain Schremmer schremmer.alain at gmail.com
Sun Mar 8 01:45:06 CET 2009


On Mar 7, 2009, at 7:34 PM, David Watson wrote:

> On Mar 7, 2009, at 5:29 PM, cfrees at imapmail.org wrote:
>
>> Re.: tabs vs. windows
>> <snip>
>> However, I'm not so sure now. I find it hard to think through whether
>> I'd prefer tabs or not. I've got so used to tabs in other contexts
>> (Firefox and screen, mostly) and I can imagine finding them useful. I
>
> There is a big difference between the expectations of a web-browser  
> and an editor for a marked-up language.
> Web-browsing requires the user to click on links and fill in forms.
> While editing a document doesn't require another window in the  
> context of WYSIWYG, it does in the context of TeX.
>
> Apart from the historical pretext of WYSIWYG vs markup, there was  
> another factor that led to the implementation of previewers;  
> without a preview, you could end up wasting reams of paper in the  
> process of preparing a manuscript with TeX.
> With a preview you could look at the output and decide if What You  
> Wrote Was What You Intended.
> In the old days, people would actually use the little error boxes  
> that you get in draft mode with TeX to make sure that the final  
> document met some sort of standard, the particulars of which Knuth  
> described in the TeXBook.
> No one uses that much anymore, and the focus has shifted on making  
> things as simple as possible for the latest fool who can't leave  
> well enough alone.
>
> In the process, the workflow has also shifted from paying attention  
> first and foremost to content, to trying to emulate a WYSIWYG  
> workflow. (Not that there is anything wrong with that)
> One application which comes close to satisfying the disparate  
> requirements of novices and wizards is the VueScan application,  
> which allows users to choose their level of expertise, and modify  
> the application interface based on that choice.
>
> I am reminded of the "simplified Finder" choice Apple used offered  
> in Mac OS 9. (maybe even before?)
> While the simplified Finder and VueScan approaches allow one to  
> choose an appropriate "depth of interface", before or during the  
> interaction, respectively, I just don't know how well such choices  
> play out in the field of TeX.
> Too little choice, and you get people writing diatribes about such  
> matters on mailing lists for years on end.
> Too much choice, and the novice is faced with trying to make  
> decisions on the front-end that require a depth of knowledge that  
> is not yet possessed.
>
> I think TeXShop meets the requirements of the novice category very  
> nicely as it stands.
> While having multiple source files in one window with tabs sounds  
> great, I wonder how many messages are going to be generated on this  
> list about how to 'turn off tabbing when using different master  
> files' or 'how can I get it NOT to turn off tabbing when I have two  
> different master files'...
> And I ABSOLUTELY abhor the "file tree" in the left hand pane as an  
> alternative.
>
> Right now that is not an issue, but I assure you it will be if the  
> 'tabbing' craze is followed to its logical conclusion.
> At such a point, I think novices (on the PC side) will have chosen  
> TeXworks, and they will put pressure on their Mac colleagues to use  
> the same because it is cross-platform.
>
> Is 'tabbing' going to be the 'selling point' for TeXShop?
> I hope not, but then again, it would be better to hear from new  
> users instead of grumpy old men like me.

When, on March 7, 2009 7:50:04 AM EST I thought to revive the thread,  
little did I know!

Slightly embarrassed regards
--schremmer

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