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

Alain Schremmer Schremmer.Alain at gmail.com
Fri Mar 9 16:53:02 CET 2007

Bruno Voisin wrote:

> 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.

As they say, fair enough. Still, there is something to be said for not 
having to work in something like machine language. My wife recalls her 
time in Meudon working with a computer that used a paper ribbon in which 
she had to punch holes. But this is really getting off topic. Well, 
thanks for the explanation: I was really puzzled.

Best regards

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