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

Jérome Laurens jerome.laurens at u-bourgogne.fr
Thu Jun 18 23:41:25 CEST 2009

Le 18 juin 09 à 13:53, Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard a écrit :

> Bruno Voisin a écrit :
>> I don't remember exactly the source or wording, but I read recently  
>> some
>> discussion of GUI on the web, saying in essence that a user must  
>> never
>> ever be asked to pick up a setting (for example at installation or  
>> first
>> launch) before she has had the opportunity to use the software and  
>> then
>> experiment with the effects of the various available choices for this
>> setting, to see first hand what the setting actually implies.
> So, isn't it a problem that the user must select the typesetting  
> mode before he
> can actually use TeXworks?
> I suggest one of the following solutions:
> 1. Implement an 'auto' mode that tries to guess. Guessing between  
> plain, latex
> and context should be relatively easy, between pfdlatex and xelatex  
> may be less
> easy (but looking for keywords such as fontspec and xltxtra in the  
> preambule
> should get it right most of the time) and I have no idea about  
> context vs
> xecontext of pdftex vs xetex.

The correct approach is to put this information inside the file or in  
a project file.
emacs, auctex, winedit, texnicenter, texshop, itexmac already do this  
(and others for sure).
Unfortunately there is no unique method for that but it should not be  
difficult to support all of them.

The word processor Pages on Mac OS X provides a "new document" panel  
where people choose according to the expected result.
A similar chooser will solve the problem pointed out above, at least  
for documents created by the user.

> 2. Make pdflatex the default. I'm afraid many won't agree, but here  
> is the
> argument: people who come to TeX without knowing the about the  
> various engine
> and formats generally want to use LaTeX. People who come to TeX for  
> XeTeX
> generally *know* what XeTeX is and why they want it, and I guess the  
> same is
> true for context users.
> Of course those solutions are not exclusive.
> Manuel.

We can say that LaTeX is good for beginners just because beginners use  
And beginners use LaTeX because LaTeX is good for beginners...
Anyway let's go for pdflatex.
When LuaTeX is mature, I hope there will be a new document design  
taking advantage of both xml and tex.
It will then be time to change to a really well designed document model.


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