[XeTeX] XeTeX in lshort

Tobias Schoel liesdiedatei at googlemail.com
Fri Oct 1 08:25:20 CEST 2010


of course, any document has structure and formatting, even plain 
txt-files have. That's not the point. The point I made, and you wrote it 
- In TeX you explicitly  state the structure/format.

And going one step further:
  - In TeX you explicitly state the structure.
  - In TeX then you explicitly state the format.

Lean back from your long experience with typography and 
computer-engineered publishing.

Then, look at TeX&Co. from the viewpoint of a teenager or twen who has 
no interest in either of it and who has learned to use MS Office 
(probably not even Office programs in general) from school, their 
parents, whoever.

Then look at how such a teenager created a text document, maybe a 
project documentation for school. Don't look at the resulting document, 
look at the process of creating it.

What will you see? What should you see?

The best you can hope for reallistically, is, that he has written it all 
down by hand before he touched the computer. Then you can at least 
suppose, that he has created the content without considering formatting. 
But probably also without considering structure.

TeX doesn't force you, to add any structure to documents. You can 
copy&paste any txt-file to a tex-file, add 
\documentclass{article}\begin{document}..\end{document} and do some 
automatic character replacement for escape characters and you're done. 
You can compile it and get a document, that has as less structure as the 

But if you create a document sensefully with TeX, it's doubtlessly 
better to _think_ structurally, while doing it. And that's what I'm 
trying to say:

! Teach the children and students to think structurally!

They don't use headlines and bold faces to give their document 
structure, they do it to give it Phluff, glamour, whatever. And when 
they enter their first headline, section title or whatever special 
element, they click at the little "bold"-symbol, then at the little 
number and change it to 20, then at the "centering"-symbol. And then, 
they think: that's not phluffy enough: lets click at "italics", 
"underline" and make it "comic sans". Ah, no I hate that font, make it 
Arial, ah no, make it back to times new roman. Hey, what about making it 
symbol or windings?

Half an hour gone, nothing produced, nothing achieved than 
children/student laughing about windings.

There is a difference between typing \section{...} and typing ... and 
clicking at "bold". There even is a difference to typing ... and 
clicking at "formats: section 1", because it carries different 
information feedback to the writer.

To come to the end:

Sure, you can create documents in a structured way by using tools other 
than tex&co., even by using ms office. But children and students can't. 
And if you want children to do, ms office&co. won't let you. Use TeX to 
demonstrate, to make clear as sky the difference:


Bye, Toscho.

Am 30.09.2010 23:26, schrieb Keith J. Schultz:
> Sorry if you got the impression that I had something against TeX or bias
> towards WYSIWYG!
> My point was basically, Any document has structure and formatting.
> TeX does not enforce structure. In TeX you explicitly  state the structure/format.
> TeX use to be the most powerful typesetting system around and was use by
> many publishing houses. Well, we have come a long way and there are better
> and easier to use systems. Publishing works differently, nowadays.
> YET, TeX is the best by for your money and allows for us to save money, by
> allowing us to create PDFs that can be used for for publishing purposes.
> Or create great documents with only the expense of a very hard learning curve.
> I agree, Xe(La)TeX has a public relations problem, but xelshort will not change
> change this in the sense that people will hear about it.
> xelshort will though help in getting people to accept Xe(La)TeX as alot of
> typing and commands are no longer need. This is especially, true for languages
> other than english.
> regards
> 	Keith.
> Am 30.09.2010 um 19:11 schrieb Gerrit Glabbart:
>> Am 30.09.2010 um 16:01 schrieb Keith J. Schultz:
>> <snip>
>>> If you take the
>>> time to look at a Word-file(doc or docx) verbatim, you will see the structure.
>>> Though some of it will not be human discernible.
>> I'd call that a drawback, wouldn't you?
>>> With Tex et al. the structure/formatting commands are in document verbatim.
>>> When using TeX et al. you are more aware of what you are doing, but there is
>>> not more structure.
>> More awareness is better, no?
>>> The only thing Tex et al. gives you is more flexibility and makes it easier to change
>>> style and page metrics as compared to Word.
>> more flexibility; easier to change; again, better.
>> <snip>
>> I didn't think I'd have to defend the merits of TeX *on a mailing list devoted to (a form of) TeX*, but here we are.
>> I'm not saying LaTeX is for everyone, or that working in TeX is an inherently superior experience for everyone (though it is for me) -- but I am saying that (a lot) more people than mathematicians and linguists may find TeX useful, if they only ever heard about it.
>> And that's were lshort comes in: it's (supposed to be) an overview over the possibilities and capabilities of LaTeX, with just enough information to get started, but not enough to be intimidating. It worked for me, it may work for others. Right now, any introduction to TeX that does not mention XeTeX must be considered incomplete, which is why I find this attempt to provide that mention so commendable -- so, thanks in advance!
>> -- Gerrit.
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