[Mac OS X TeX] Textures and Mac OS X - an editorial

Warren Nagourney warren at dirac.phys.washington.edu
Fri Jun 1 07:18:56 CEST 2001

<x-flowed>I would like to echo Gary's sentiments - I wholeheartedly agree with him 
and am very very disappointed in Barry's decision regarding the future 
direction of Blue Sky. I have purchased every version of TeXtures since it 
first came out and must have invested several thousand dollars in this 
product. I am stunned by the egregious lack of reciprocal loyalty shown by 
this company. I read one of the early letters by (I believe) Barry on the 
subject, where he states that TeXtures runs perfectly well in Classic and 
gives the impression that this is its future, so far as Blue Sky is 
concerned. He further mentioned Apple's change of position regarding the 
use of display postscript and Yellow Box for windows, indicating that this 
"disloyalty" on Apple's part justifies the dismissal of OS X as a future 
for TeXtures. I needn't state my reaction to this position - from what I 
have written above, it should be obvious.

I agree that Blue Sky's venture into the windows market will be almost 
certainly a complete disaster - I happen to know that Barry is getting a 
lot of correspondence on this subject and won't beat a dead horse. I mourn 
the loss of a great product and am glad this list exists to explore other 
avenues for Mac TeX users.

I fear that we are wasting our time in attempting to exhort Blue Sky to 
change its direction - the Carbon strategy has been out for more than 2 
years and a company which has just begun to explore OS X avenues (and is 
trying to enter the wintel market) has extremely little likelihood of 
listening to us. Our best efforts should be probably be spent on improving 
the alternatives (as we are doing).

Warren Nagourney

--On Thursday, May 31, 2001 11:54 PM -0400 "Gary L. Gray" 
<gray at engr.psu.edu> wrote:

> On 5/31/2001 at 11:14 PM -0400, Bryan S. Morse wrote:
>> And while we're at it: running under Classic doesn't cut it--a Carbonized
>> version of Textures is needed!  I hate having to restart Textures because
>> another Classic app crashes.
> I apologize for posting to both lists since I know that many of you
> are on both, but I thought I should send this to everyone.
> Here is my two cents and then some ...
> I completely agree that a Carbonized version of Textures is needed.
> Blue Sky (i.e., Barry Smith) has stated:
> At 3:19 PM -0700 4/1/2001, Barry Smith wrote:
>> Yes, we do
>> have plans to make Textures a native OS X application.  It will
>> not, however, be something that will happen quickly, and we
>> do not, as a rule, publicize schedule information about our product
>> plans.  We are very pleased to find that Textures as it is apparently
>> runs perfectly under the OS X Classic environment; Apple has
>> corrected the system problem which caused printing difficulties,
>> and we know of no problems with Textures and OS X at this time.
>> Our plans for Textures and OS X are, as our users might expect,
>> to do more than to just "Carbonize" the existing Textures application,
>> more than to just "make it native" with no fundamental or feature
>> changes.  We have the opportunity, and we plan to invest the effort,
>> to completely re-implement Textures: to take what we have learned
>> in the (yes) fifteen years of Textures' existence to simplify and enhance
>> the user interface and the underlying organization and structures that
>> make Textures what it is.  Textures for OS X will share little, if any,
>> code from the current Textures, but will contain most of its concepts
>> and all of our learning about TeX and its users.
>> Recently we circulated a request for information from our users as
>> to your expectations and desires for your moving to OS X, and we
>> were extremely pleased with the response, which was voluminous
>> and (nearly) unequivocal: Textures users are at the forefront and will
>> be choosing to move to OS X, with deliberate speed and high expectations.
>> We wish that we could say that Textures for OS X will be out "real
>> soon now", but we, and you, know that that could not be the case,
>> when you understand the scope of our plans for the native environment.
>> We are naturally pleased and (of course :) not surprised that the current
>> Textures runs well under the Classic environment, and we are surely
>> confident that Textures will rarely (if ever) be the cause of Classic
>> crashes. As the OS X platform makes it practical and desirable to
>> support PDF as an illustration format, we will if it is feasible issue
>> an interim Classic Textures which offers support for PDF illustrations.
> I read this as "don't hold your breath waiting for a Mac OS X version
> of Textures". I am, as many others seem to be, very disappointed that
> we are all going to have to find other solutions. Tom Kiffe and
> Richard Koch et al. have come through with OS X solutions and it
> appears that people are going to switch and never look back. I am not
> interested in having to run something in Classic when a Mac OS X
> version is available. I, and my students, have been using both
> CMacTeX and TeXShop as we try and decide which will be our choice for
> Mac OS X. At last week's WWDC, Jobs said that surveys have
> overwhelmingly shown that people are more interested in native
> solutions than they are in brand loyalty --- it seems to me that Blue
> Sky should be very worried in light of this information. I have been
> told that Blue Sky is developing a Windows version of Textures. If
> this is true, then I think Blue Sky is making a terrible mistake.
> They are arriving pretty late to the Windows game and will have
> difficulty penetrating that market. This is on top of the fact that
> their loyal Mac customers are going to find other solutions rather
> than waiting to switch to Mac OS X. I know Blue Sky is a small
> company with limited resources, but it seems to me (and I am sure
> many of you will tell me if you think I am wrong) that they should be
> concentrating their efforts on their CURRENT loyal customer base
> rather than a NONEXISTENT FUTURE customer base that may never
> materialize.
> I would love to hear what other people think (please mail to the list
> rather than to just me so that we can have a discussion on this
> matter). Maybe if there is a large enough cry, we can have three
> choices instead of two. :-)
> Best regards,
> --
>     Gary L. Gray
>     Associate Professor
>     Engineering Science & Mechanics
>     Penn State University
>     (814) 863-1778
>     http://www.esm.psu.edu/Faculty/Gray/
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Warren Nagourney   <warren at dirac.phys.washington.edu>  Voice: 206-543-9585
University of Washington                                      206-543-0143
Physics Dept., Box 351560, Seattle, WA 98195             Fax: 206-685-0635


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