[tex-live] [Fwd: Re: TeXLive Perl + latexmk (windows)]

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Thu Apr 15 16:10:54 CEST 2010

On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 8:21 AM, Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard <mpg at elzevir.fr> wrote:

> Reinhard Kotucha a écrit :
>> And I'm sure that the word "install" is clear enough and even
>> unexperienced Windows users understand what it means.
>>   s/install/setup/
>> makes sense if we assume that Windows users are unable to read but are
>> familiar with patterns like "setup".  But should TeX Live assume that
>> Windows users are idiots?
> Well, I was rather thinking of s/bat/exe/ and s/tl/texlive/ as being more helpful.

It is not so much a question of the intelligence of different
categories of users
but one of finding a balance between the "comfort level" of developers and that
of users on all the different platforms.   What many users forget is that they
only have TeXLive due to the efforts of the developers, so it is in the users'
interest to have developers spending time and energy on things that matter.

>> I don't worry so much about the "look and feel" because TeX is a
>> commandline tool anyway.
> I quite strongly disagree here. Look at what exists on the Mac with TeXshop and
> MacTeX. I can assure you it counts for users. If TeXworks is developed and
> shipped with TL on windows, it's for a reason. IMO, TeX shouldn't be reserved to
> command-line lovers but rather be made more accessible and less frightening to
> more users.

It would be good to have some "use cases".   The users I encounter are all
scientists, some who used MS Office until they encountered a project
where the manuscript has to be provided in LaTeX form, others who have
used TeX for nearly 2 decades still prefer plain over latex (because latex as
too big for their early MS-DOS machine or because they don't like the
default appearance of the article class.  The MS Office users often have
a sample .tex file provided by the publisher, but find it impossible to get
LaTeX working without help.   They ask around and are told to "get WinEDT"
or "get MikTeX".

Some sites provide systems "pre-configured" with, e.g., WinEDT and some
TeX system -- those users come away with the impression that WinEDT contains

It would be nice to have some documents or youtube videos that show
the MS Office users how to format the publisher's sample, starting with
installing a TeX distro.

An important use case is  people who come to TeX because they want
to use some 3rdparty tools (e.g., sagemath, building systems from source
where the documentation comes in .tex form, etc.).  These all go beyond
the normal bounds of a TeX distribution.   They tend to work smoothly on
current  Apple or linux systems, but are not easy to achieve in (native)

I gather there are many other use cases, but most are outside my

>> But I strongly disagree.  It's impossible to provide reasonable
>> support for Windows and simultaneously treat Windows users as idiots.
> I don't think that caring about details and the look and feel of a software
> distribution is treating users as idiots (regardless of the underlying OS).
> Manuel.

One may care about such details, but still make the choice to spend energy
on other parts of the project.   I prefer my car to look nice, but
first it has to

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

More information about the tex-live mailing list