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Re: Re: Which editor do you use for math articles


On 18 Jan 2009, at 11:32, AES wrote:

> [Unless your TeX input has some error, in which case the typeset  
> output
> will only appear up a point where the error occurs; a description and
> explanation of the error will appear in a third "log window"  -- and
> hitting some other key combo will take you back to the input window
> **with the cursor positioned at the point or line where the error was
> encountered".]
>
> This has been the case for many years.

Amazing. That means they must have produced a mind-reading version of  
TeX that I am not aware of. In all versions that I know (and I have  
been using TeX,LateX,Ams-Latex etc for decades) the cursor will appear  
not at the place where the error (for example a missing right brace })  
occurred but at the place where TeX first notices some inconsistency  
with its syntax - which is almost never the place where the error  
actually occurred. At that point you have got to manually find the  
actual error, which can be far from simple. The only TeX  
implementation that I know that partly gets around this problem is the  
Mac TeX system Textures (http://www.bluesky.com/products/products_frames.html 
), which continually typesets your output as you type (without the  
need to hit any keys), which usually will make you aware of an error  
as soon as it occurs rather than much later, when you try to typeset  
the you course code. Moreover, Textures has several other nice  
features that are implemented only imperfectly in other versions. But  
there are major caveats - a Mac OS X version is still only in beta,  
years after Mac OS X occurred, and Textures costs hundreds of dollars.  
But, and here is something anyone considering TeX should carefully  
ponder upon. Before Mac OS X appeared, there were many persons  
(including myself) willing to pay hundreds of dollars for Textures and  
more for regular upgrades, in spite of the fact that lots of free TeX  
implementations have always existed on the Mac (I myself now use TeX  
Shop with Japanese PTex engine). This was because TeXtures avoids the  
huge amount of hassle that installing and using TeX is for any  
beginner and even for an experienced user. Then Blue Sky, the company  
that makes Textures, failed to come up with a Mac OS X compatible  
version and most users reluctantly drifted away to other programs. But  
if you look mailing lists where TeX on Mac OS is discussed you will  
find that many are intending to return (even though it will cost them  
money) as soon as a full featured version is again available. Which  
only proves that standard, free implementations of TeX are far form  
the sort of thing some make them out to be. I strongly recommend you  
to try TeX, but I suspect you will be soon back to using Mathematica  
(if not Word).

Andrzej Kozlowski


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