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

Roussanka Loukanova rloukano at stp.lingfil.uu.se
Fri Mar 9 18:34:05 CET 2007

Hi Bruno,

As if you are telling what I do, but with a few changes: substitute almost 
everywhere Finder with the Terminal; and then, I am quite modest, I do not 
do so complicate things as you do...

What you did time ago with your French keyboard for the French accents, I 
do now for the Swedish letters on my Swedish keyboard with a Linux desktop 
keyboard (which I use rarely), and also on my MBP with US keyboard, too, 
for tex file. (For plain text reports and email, I just do not put any 
accents :)

The Swedish special letters are only three, but for them, not only the 
\ is like what you say,  Alt-Shift-forgot-what, but also many other 
useful special characters, {, }, @, etc... make my hands run over that 
huge keyboard on the desktop, if i use it...

Back to practical things: what you write about the accents make me 
think that you do something else nowadays. What? (May be I am still ages 
behind... :(


They are only three, but all the On Fri, 9 Mar 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.
> Bruno Voisin

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