[texworks] Beginners' needs (was: Lua scripting)

T T t34www at googlemail.com
Thu Jun 18 15:37:14 CEST 2009

2009/6/18 Stefan Löffler <st.loeffler at gmail.com>:
> I tend to agree with the others on these points. Today, must "newbies"
> won't go around and say "hey, it would be cool to learn word processing,
> where can I found a book about it?", they much more likely say "hey, I
> heard about that MS Word program. I bought it, I opened it, now what to
> do?". Of course this issue is a little less pronounced in the *nix world
> (or so I think), but this is mainly because the system itself is still
> less user-friendly. IMHO, the unfortunate truth is that the easier it is
> to install software, the fewer people will learn about it *before* they
> install anything. And since TeX now comes in nice, easy-to-install
> distributions, people will more likely install it because they heard
> somewhere that it's cool without reading the TeXbook or even the "not so
> short introduction" (which got me started long ago, btw).

I think that I am an example of the attitude you describe. I invest my
time in learning about a new program only if I find it intriguing in
some way or I don't have any other choice. In most cases, if a piece
of software doesn't feel "just right" from the start it makes its way
to recycle bin rather quickly.

In the context of making TW newbie friendly and fun to start with, I
have a suggestion to open the quick start guide as a welcome document
on the first start. That way users could jump right into editing and
typsetting from the very start if they want to. They could play around
with things as they read through the guide. Of course there would have
to be a possibility to "recover" the original guide (from the help
menu or maybe as one of the templates?) in case they accidentally
destroy it, but this is just a technical detail to work out.

I have seen something like that in latex-lab online editor (which is
sadly not available right now) and I really liked it. What others
think about this idea?



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