LaTeX, MS Word, asking questions, LyX (was Re: [OS X TeX] 1/2" margins)

Claus Gerhardt gerhardt at
Fri Oct 13 14:10:56 CEST 2006

I have to defend latex (tex). The basics of  latex are not hard to  
learn: after two weeks of reading George Grätzer's "Math into Latex"  
and some typing, one should be able to write (=type) a paper. That  
stage I would describe as using latex light.

After a month one should be able to  set the margins to 1/2in by  
looking in the Latex Companion, look up margin in the index.

Over time one will mature, and someone like me is going to use latex  
standard, which offers brilliant typesetting with ease. If in the  
future I should want to accomplish something that my current  
knowledge of latex doesn't allow me to do, I am pretty sure that a  
look in the Latex Companion, Googling, reading manuals, trial and  
error, or, as a last resort, asking this list will give me the  
necessary answers.

If people, especially math students, have unsurmountable difficulties  
with latex, then they probably have more severe problems which are  
unrelated to latex.


On 13.10.2006, at 13:44, Themis Matsoukas wrote:

> Yes, "just" a more organized world. You could say that this  
> organization is merely a convenience, as most of us have been  
> surviving without it, given that all necessary pieces are  
> available. But if a user has to spend a day talking to lists to  
> find out how to change the margins to 1/2 in, one must also admit  
> that some organization might in fact be useful.
> The limiting factor, of course, is that the latex project is a  
> volunteer effort and one cannot demand more from those who make it  
> happen: its free, has excellent support, and works beautifully.  
> Still, echoing Bruno's dream, I wonder how long will latex survive  
> in the future (say, in 25-50 years from now) without some softening  
> of its edges. After all,  the new generation of college students  
> has hardly any exposure to programing, which is a prerequisite for  
> understanding why latex does things the way it does.
> Themis
> ------------------------- Info --------------------------
> Mac-TeX Website:
>          & FAQ:
> TeX FAQ:
> List Archive:

------------------------- Info --------------------------
Mac-TeX Website:
          & FAQ:
List Archive:

More information about the macostex-archives mailing list