[OS X TeX] New Macros, new Engines, new TeXShop versions, and all that

David Messerschmitt messer at eecs.berkeley.edu
Mon Feb 22 22:07:57 CET 2010

> Software cannot read user's mind. Furthermore the directory is not obscure but contained in ~/Library. 

True, software can't read our minds, but the software can ASK users what's on their minds. So my suggestion to Dick Koch would be to add a dialog box at upgrade time that asks the user if he or she wants (a) the completely default installation or (b) wants to preserve past changes. There might be more than two choices, or choices at the granularity of macros, engines, etc, but you get the idea. The big advance in window/menu systems is the idea of not depending on users to know and issue commands, but rather giving them choices. This has proven to be the right approach to accommodate the naive user.

~/Library is not obscure to you, but the average user of Word, Safari, etc has never encountered this directory. While this type of user is arguably not the primary target of TexShop, I would advocate that they should be accommodated in the interest of expanding the user base, especially since this is fairly easy to do (TexShop is very close to this "packaged distribution" style already), and need not impact the power user one iota.


David Messerschmitt
Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
University of Californa at Berkeley

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