[texworks] Project Management type stuff

Stefan Löffler st.loeffler at gmail.com
Sun Oct 17 10:15:44 CEST 2010

 Am 2010-10-16 10:33, schrieb Bruno Voisin:
> On the other hand, project management just adds unnecessary burden and complexity when you are writing a one-shot document, like a letter, an invitation to a party, etc., and may be seen as an entry barrier for the novice.

I generally tend to agree with Paul here. To exaggerate a bit: I won't
spend hours on layout and design for writing a shopping list.
Still, there are many instances where you want to use *TeX for something
that is not a several hundred pages document. So of course project
management must not increase the complexity. In fact, I envision that
nothing would change when you start up Tw. You'll still see your one
empty document and can work with single files just as you can now. In
addition to that, we'd also have the possibility to group several files
into a "project". On the fundamental level, this would probably have to
enable you to set all the things that are right now on a per-file basis
(typesetting engine, root document, spell checking language, ...) for
the whole project. Above that, I don't have an idea for a good user
interface yet, though. Functionality-wise, it would be great to be able
to navigate through the files of the project easily (for me, this
currently is quite a pain). But how this is shown, I don't know. Ideas,
anyone? ;)

> On Mac OS X there were originally two TeX applications launched at about the same time, TeXShop and iTeXMac (the latter a spin-off of the former). TeXShop uses a no-nonsense user interface and has provided the inspiration for TeXworks, while iTeXMac is based on project management. TeXShop is very much alive and prosperous, while iTeXMac has been very quiet for quite some time.
> Similarly, in the Mac OS Classic days, apart from Textures which was commercial software and CMacTeX which was a straightforward binary-by-binary Mac compilation of Web2C (and Jonathan's TeXgX which was shot full-flight by Apple's cancellation of QuickDraw GX and re-emerged years later as XeTeX), there were essentially two TeX shareware apps: OzTeX with a no-nonsense interface inspired by Textures and very similar to present-day TeXShop and TeXworks, and DirectTeX based on project management. OzTeX was licensed to several universities around the world and was the dominant non-commercial Mac TeX software of the time, while DirectTeX never really took off.
> So, regarding TeXworks, I'd suggest that project management, if any, remains unobtrusive and does not imply modifications of the current user interface. I was originally rather adverse to scripting, for the same reasons, but was reassured by Jonathan's presentation at TUG 2010 that scripting is implemented in such a way that it does not clutter the TeXworks UI. It would be nice that project management, if any, does the same.

As remarked by Paul, unobtrusiveness is our motto ;). As I wrote above,
there are no intentions to change the current layout. However, if Tw is
bringing new users to the TeX world, they will eventually learn more and
become "power users" wanting additional features (just look through this
mailing list or the issue list on Google Code for an idea of how diverse
feature requests are). So we could say that we restrict Tw to the most
fundamental features and leave it at that. But then I suspect that Tw
will soon be dropped by many users as they grow accustomed to TeX. On
the other hand, - as long as they are unobtrusive - we could add power
features as well (regexp search/replace, scripting, ... are examples of


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