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

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg95625] Re: [mg95605] Re: Which editor do you use for math articles
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 05:06:16 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <> <gkscfe$eet$> <>

On 22 Jan 2009, at 13:03, Mariano Su=E1rez-Alvarez wrote:

> On Jan 21, 9:48 am, Andrzej Kozlowski <a... at> wrote:
>> On 20 Jan 2009, at 11:45, Mariano Su=E1rez-Alvarez wrote:
>>> On Jan 19, 6:00 am, Andrzej Kozlowski <a... at> wrote:
>>>> 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"  -- =

>>>>> an=
> d
>>>>> 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 
>>>> inconsi=
> stency
>>>> 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 =
> 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 wil=
> l
>>>> 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).
>>> Have you tried installing TeXLive?
>>> -- m
>> Yes. It certianly makes keeping up to date with various packages
>> easier, but I don't think it addresses the issues I mentioned and 
>> does
>> not have the features Textures offers (or used to). Among these were:
>> 1. Continuously updated preview
> Urgh. Why would you want that?
> What's next, Clippy?!! :)
>> 2. "Traffic light" - an interactive device that keeps you informed
>> while you are typing if your input is syntactically correct (so you
>> can catch errors as they occur
> Any decent editor will have syntax highlghting, which is
> good enough to catch commor errors. The uncommon ones (TeX
> is essentially impossible to syntax check!) are uncommon ;-)
>> 3. Synchronicity. Command-click on any text in the preview and you =

>> are
>> taken to the corresponding point in your source code. Do the same to
>> any word in the source code and you are taken to the right place in
>> the preview.
> You can do this using xdvi and vim; I imagine emacs
> does it also, but I do not speak emacs. Add
>  xdvi.editor:    gvim --servername xdvi --remote +%l %f
> to ~/.xdvirc, and compile using
>  latex --src-specials=cr,display,hbox,math,par,hbox ...
> and start editing uxing
>  gvim --servername xdvi myfile.tex
> or
>  vimx --servername xdvi myfile.tex
> When you then ctrl-click on something in xdvi, vim jump
> to the correct position in the source.
> On the other hand, add
>  map <buffer> <silent> <F1> :call system("xdvi -sourceposition " .
> string(line('.')) . expand("%:r"))<CR>
> (This should be in one line, I guess) to your ~/.vimrc;
> then pressing F1 while editing a tex file will result in
> xdvijumping to that position.
> I understand that you can do this also with PDF, assuming
> your PDF previewer has the necessary support, but I have
> never tried.
> You should really consider Auctex.
> -- m
Hmm... I don't think you have won very many friends for TeX with this 
post (me, I have been using TeX for over 20 years, so I am kind of 
resigned to it...). In particular, I am sure AES must have loved it, 
particularly in view of his repeated complaints about how "arcane" 
Mathematica some commands are (compared to what?)

Andrzej Kozlowski=

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