[texworks] Project Management type stuff

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Sun Oct 17 13:13:21 CEST 2010

On Oct 17, 2010, at 3:15 AM, Stefan Löffler wrote:

> 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
> that).
> Stefan


iTeXMac does seem to be static and discussion about TeX Projects (as TeX Wrapper) on OS X is silent and the mailing list is dead. I was still able to find <http://itexmac.sourceforge.net/TeXWrapperStructure.html>.

Note that on Mac OS X an applications (iTeXMac in this case) can tell the OS to treat a folder with name with a particular extension (texd in the case of iTeXMac) as though it was a file. On any other system it shows up as a folder.

I very often use common code and even common graphics in separate ``project'' so I'm not sure I like this structure. In any case, it's basically dead.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest dot com)

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