[Tugindia] LaTeX in schools

Kapil Hari Paranjape kapil at imsc.res.in
Tue Apr 8 09:16:29 CEST 2003

Dear David Kastrup,

On Mon, Apr 07, 2003 at 12:17:20PM +0200, David Kastrup wrote:
> Kapil Hari Paranjape <kapil at imsc.res.in> writes:
> > 4. In this respect, the "graphical" mode of "Emacs21+auctex+preview"
> >    or "LyX" may satisfy the legendary impatience of
> >    children. However, it is important to emphasise the challenge and
> >    satisfaction of being able to "state" precisely what one wants to
> >    limit the "preview" crutch as one gains in TeXpertise.
> Uh, do you have any actual experience with Emacs/AUCTeX/preview-latex?
> I doubt it when reading statements like the above.  preview-latex does
> not save your pupil from typing even a single character (though
> AUCTeX's menus can save you some actual typing): the TeX code has to
> be entered completely, as readable source code, before you can let
> preview-latex loose.  It is just that you _then_ get a more convenient
> form of visual feedback than typical previewers provide.  In contrast,
> LyX shields the writer from actually accessing LaTeX.  Please read up
> on <URL:http://preview-latex.sourceforge.net/wysiwyg-draft.pdf> for a
> good summary of the difference and approaches of those two and other
> systems trying to give a higher level of visual feedback in connection
> with LaTeX authoring.
> Or even actually try them yourself.

I have indeed tried both myself *and* read your article. I just wanted
to re-iterate the point you make in your article and said it

I do believe that one possible aim behind using "preview-latex"
is to *learn* to do the preview in ones' head as one reads the LaTeX file.

> > Needless to say such activity can only be pursued with energy by those
> > who never step off the learning curve themselves.
> Nope.  By those that still have contact with the learning curve, which
> can also be by teaching or helping.  The kind of things I may still be
> able to learn about Emacs or TeX are utterly irrelevant to teaching
> basic skills.

What is relevant is not the knowledge but the enthusiasm. Remember the
phrase "the quick and the dead" --- those who step off the learning
curve are demonstrating that they think that the subject matter is dead.
All good teachers that I know of kept on learning new things...



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