[OS X TeX] R, paradigm to bring into the LaTeX world?

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Mon Oct 23 14:56:10 CEST 2006

On Oct 23, 2006, at 7:32 AM, Themis Matsoukas wrote:

> I am not familiar with R but I offer the example of Mathematica as  
> yet another package with very steep learning curve but with  
> excellent integration  of documentation. Just the other day I  
> wanted to use \atop in a latex document, so I had to google it to  
> figure its syntax. Sure, I got the answer within 5 hits, but I  
> would really like is a functionality in texshop (or similar front  
> end) where you could type ?\atop, as in Mathematica,  and you'd get  
> a man page for it. Without such organization, the proliferation of  
> packages will soon reach a point (if it hasn't already) whereby the  
> benefit of added functionality is overshadowed by the effort to  
> find what you need and figure how to use it.
> tm


I think R and MikTeX are better examples because both of those are  
open source and therefore have many contributors while Mathematica is  
single source and big bucks too.

I suspect the biggest difference between R and MikTeX, on one hand,  
and TeX on the other hand is that R and MikTeX are probably  
reasonably organized chaos (i.e., there is a relatively small number  
of people that pick and choose what must be included in an addition  
to the system so it can be indexed automatically) while TeX has grown  
up completely chaotically. Give the volume of things at CTAN I think  
it would be a truely daunting task to filter through things and add/ 
delete/change the individual structures of the packages so they could  
be automatically indexed.
Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest.com)

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