[texworks] Drop of Python scripting support

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Tue Nov 1 23:26:53 CET 2011

On 2011-11-01 at 09:12:42 +0000, Philip TAYLOR (Webmaster, Ret'd) wrote:

 > I have never found the need for scripting in any environment other
 > than the underlying operating system, and even then very rarely.
 > Even in WinEDT, which I have used for many many years and which I
 > prefer in many ways to TeXworks (but which is not yet UTF-8
 > compatible,) I have never found any need for scripting.

Hi Phil,
it seems that you assume that scripts are supposed to be written by
end users.  Of course, advanced users can do that, but in the first
place scripting is meant as an easy way to extend TW without the need
to change the core program.  Ideally the end user doesn't notice
whether a particular feature he's using is written in C or QtScript.

TeX is quite similar in this respect: The program contains only the
low level stuff, everything else is provided by scripts (for instance
plain.tex).  Similarly, a C compiler only provides the low level
stuff, most of its functionality comes from external libraries.

This approach has significant advantages: 

 * It's easier to make the core program robust if it's kept as small
   as possible.  

 * If most of the functionality can be provided by scripts, more
   people can work on extensions without the risk to break the core

 * Scripts are platform independent, the core program isn't.

Another point is that there are several flavours of TeX (plain, LaTeX,
ConTeXt).  In order to support them all it makes more sense to me to
have distinct scripts for each format and load them on demand rather
than to hard-code everything in the core program.

Thus I'm convinced that providing a scripting language is unavoidable
in the long term.  It allows more people to contribute.

Well, if you say that you never found the need for scripting in any
environment other than the underlying operating system, you probably
forgot that you do scripting in TeX all the time. :)


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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