# [texworks] Early thoughts

Jonathan Kew jonathan at jfkew.plus.com
Fri Sep 19 22:28:35 CEST 2008

On 19 Sep 2008, at 8:54 PM, Dave Crossland wrote:

> 2008/9/19 Bruno Voisin <bvoisin at me.com>:
>> Le 18 sept. 08 à 14:26, Jonathan Kew a écrit :
>>
>>> On 18 Sep 2008, at 1:17 PM, Will Robertson wrote:
>>>
>>>> (5) As well as command completion, I'd like automatic trigger
>>>> stuff.
>>>> E.g., typing \begin{ on an otherwise empty line would immediately
>>>> insert an \end{ on the next line and then fill in both environment
>>>> delimiters at the same time as you typed the name of the
>>>> environment.
>>>> Editing one of them would edit the other, simultaneously.
>>>
>>> Yes, that'd be slick.
>>
>> Please don't. ... Or at least provide the user with a single
>> switch to suppress all these clever additions.

stuff!

Bruno, don't worry: I expect to keep the default TeXworks behavior
pretty simple and clean. I'm not opposed to "assistive editing"
tricks, but I do think these are an "optional extra" that users should
explicitly choose, if they wish to use them.

The existing "command completion" is one example of this: it's
available, but it doesn't interfere with typing in any way (like some
auto-complete mechanisms might); it only takes effect when explicitly
requested via the Esc key.

>> There are users who like such additions. But there are also old-
>> style users
>> like me who want an editor to type exactly what they instruct it to
>> type, no
>> more no less, to select exactly what they used their mouse to
>> select, no
>> more no less.

I tend to lean this way, but I suspect this is partly because I am not
actually *writing* large amounts of (La)TeX material. If I were,
perhaps I'd become accustomed to various "shortcuts", but as a low-
volume user I find it easiest to just type exactly what I want.

> TeXWorks seems to me to be aimed at the former, and the latter are
> also the kind of users who are capable of reading the relevant part of
> the documentation and editing a configuration/preferences file where
> the auto-instruction behaviour is specified, and commenting out all
> the lines they don't want.

I suppose this is true; on the other hand, there's a danger that the
naive user -- who might benefit from environment templates, etc -- may
be overwhelmed and confused by too much "assistance". Perhaps it's not
a bad thing if users first learn that LaTeX uses
\begin{itemize}
\item .....
\end{itemize}
by typing it all themselves, before discovering that the editor can
produce this from just a few keystrokes.

Before anyone asks: No, there will NOT be a little paperclip that pops
up and says "it looks like you're typing an itemized list; would you
like me to help?" :-)

JK