[OS X TeX] To macro or not to macro (Was: Local additions and multiple TeX distributions)

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Fri Mar 9 09:15:38 CET 2007

Le 8 mars 07 à 22:09, Alain Schremmer a écrit :

> I assume you mean in the particular context of "local additions and  
> multiple TeX distributions" but, if not, why not and what do you  
> use instead?
> As for Applescript, what would you use to manipulate files in the  
> Finder? (Gerhardt wrote me a very nice Applescript that has saved  
> me dozens of hours.)

There's nothing special here, only that I'm very old school in this  
respect and tend to do everything "by hand":

- Typing in all control sequences verbatim in the TeX input window,  
with copies of the TeX and LaTeX manuals at hand. It's just that I  
had got used to work this way before the possibility to use macros  
was added to Textures or brought by Alpha. I find personally simpler  
to just type in things myself (same when typing HTML code in BBEdit),  
than invest time to select and learn macros whose operation may  
inadvertently change at any point in the future. And in my  
experience, the time you spend typing in an instruction gives you the  
opportunity to think ahead what you will do or write next.

There was even a time, before option_keys was added to Textures  
allowing direct 8-bit input, when I was typing all accents in TeX  
code form (like \'e for é) while writing reports in French. And on a  
French keyboard, even \ requires some contortion in itself (being  
accessible only as Alt-Shift-:). Which is good for my keyboard  
playing skills!

- Similarly, I tend to do all mouse and menu actions "by hand" in the  
Finder or the printing dialog, for example, rather than devote time  
to find and learn AppleScripts which at any point in the future Apple  
or other providers may decide to inadvertently change or remove. And  
when I have elaborate file manipulations to perform (which does not  
occur often), I turn generally to the command line in Terminal.

I'm not especially advocating this way of functioning, it's just the  
way I'm more comfortable with.

Bruno Voisin

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