Discussion:
TeX and Scribus
(too old to reply)
j***@wexfordpress.com
2016-04-04 15:12:45 UTC
Permalink
As I have noted many times in the past the version of TeX included with Slackware is so obsolete as to be practically useless. Serious users use the newer version
called TeXlive and updated every year. But it is too big to include with the Slackware versions.

I have another suggestion: There is another DTP program that is gaining in usage.It is called Scribus. Currently the "stable-unstable release" is Scribus 1.5.1.

(How can a release be both stable and unstable? The Scribus mantainers have very conservative habits) The almost-ready new release will be 1.6.0 and the 1.5.x series are advance versions of 1.6.0. The really and truly developmental
version is currently called 1.5.3 but you have to download the source to get that.

These peculiarities aside I find both the Context version of TeX and the
1.5.1 version of Scribus to be useful in my work. TeX has goodies like multiple
TOCs, a slick indexing package called makeintes and the Bibliograpy feature. Scribus is much easier to use where multiple graphics are concerned and
handles multiple fonts much easier. Sometimes I use both on the same project.

So here is my scheme: drop the obsolete version of TeX. Include the 1.5.1
version of Scribus. Those who want to use TeX can dwnload and install the
2015 version of TeXLive.

I am not expert in many things but I know desktop publishing better than most.

John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters.
Martha Adams
2016-04-05 05:42:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
As I have noted many times in the past the version of TeX included with Slackware is so obsolete as to be practically useless. Serious users use the newer version
called TeXlive and updated every year. But it is too big to include with the Slackware versions.
I have another suggestion: There is another DTP program that is gaining in usage.It is called Scribus. Currently the "stable-unstable release" is Scribus 1.5.1.
(How can a release be both stable and unstable? The Scribus mantainers have very conservative habits) The almost-ready new release will be 1.6.0 and the 1.5.x series are advance versions of 1.6.0. The really and truly developmental
version is currently called 1.5.3 but you have to download the source to get that.
These peculiarities aside I find both the Context version of TeX and the
1.5.1 version of Scribus to be useful in my work. TeX has goodies like multiple
TOCs, a slick indexing package called makeintes and the Bibliograpy feature. Scribus is much easier to use where multiple graphics are concerned and
handles multiple fonts much easier. Sometimes I use both on the same project.
So here is my scheme: drop the obsolete version of TeX. Include the 1.5.1
version of Scribus. Those who want to use TeX can dwnload and install the
2015 version of TeXLive.
I am not expert in many things but I know desktop publishing better than most.
John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters.
========================================================

I certainly think Scribus looks interesting and useful, however, I
*cannot* agree that the TeX in today's Slackware is "so obsolete as
to be practically useless." I was using TeX daily some 30+ years ago
and I would expect that if I made a comparison, today's Slackware
TeX would be like the TeX back then. That TeX then was useful for
serious work then and certainly would serve today, and I see a
further reason for Slackware to keep on with that "old" TeX.

It is, the serious tendency to creeping elaboration that is so
evident in today's software. Elaboration that makes the learning
curve steeper for the software, but contributes *nothing* to its
practical usefulness. That "old" TeX is as good today as on the
first day it was "new," in fact better because of its service
years for debugging. For which reason, if someone Up There in
today's Slackware is thinking if or not to retain that old TeX,
my clear request is, By all means, *please do,* its presence is
one of the more compelling reasons for the serious worker to
choose Slackware over other options out there.

Uffish thot -- I wonder if Culleton even has any useful knowledge
of using TeX? Could he sit down today and apply that knowhow to
supporting himself thru his knowledge of how to use it? As I
have done? Looking at what he writes, I doubt it.

Titeotwawki -- Martha Adams [Tues 2016 Apr 05]
Joost Kremers
2016-04-05 07:25:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Martha Adams
I certainly think Scribus looks interesting and useful, however, I
*cannot* agree that the TeX in today's Slackware is "so obsolete as
to be practically useless."
If you're using TeX & friends just to produce your own documents and
your needs are modest, then you may have a point. If you live in 2016,
however, chances are your documents have requirements (say, Unicode)
that did not exist in 2006 (when the last update to teTeX was made) or
that have vastly improved since then. (I'm not sure if teTeX included
the Libertine/Biolinum fonts, but I have seen more than one bug in them
squashed since I started using them.)

And if you're working with (La)TeX documents created by others, then
teTeX just won't do. Plain old TeX documents might still compile, but
modern LaTeX documents with any complexity beyond the basic stuff most
likely won't.
Post by Martha Adams
I was using TeX daily some 30+ years ago
and I would expect that if I made a comparison, today's Slackware
TeX would be like the TeX back then.
Plain TeX, probably, but LaTeX? LaTeX 10 years ago was quite different
from LaTeX 30 years ago. And LaTeX today is different from LaTeX 10
years ago.
--
Joost Kremers ***@fastmail.fm
Selbst in die Unterwelt dringt durch Spalten Licht
EN:SiS(9)
W. Greenhouse
2016-04-05 14:15:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joost Kremers
And if you're working with (La)TeX documents created by others, then
teTeX just won't do. Plain old TeX documents might still compile,
but modern LaTeX documents with any complexity beyond the basic
stuff most likely won't.
I use Slackware and its TeTeX to produce legal and research documents
(mostly using the Memoir style with my own tweaks) and business
letters (using KOMAScript). I can certainly second what Joost says
regarding documents produced by other tex users; sometimes tweaks
have to be made to account for features from newer versions of
those libraries/style files that don't exist yet in tetex.

I disagree, though, that TexLive is necessarily too large
for distribution with Slackware.
TexLive is modular; there are more options
than distributing the whole multi-gigabyte sumo edition.
TexLive also provides the ability to install luatex, xetex,
and context in addition to the usual [pdf]latex.

Would it be against Slackware philosophy to ship a minimal texlive
with its own user-level package manager (tlmgr) enabled and usable?
I mean, Slackware ships CPAN already, which is similar in concept.

--
Peace,
WGG
Rich
2016-04-05 21:13:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by W. Greenhouse
Post by Joost Kremers
And if you're working with (La)TeX documents created by others,
then teTeX just won't do. Plain old TeX documents might still
compile, but modern LaTeX documents with any complexity beyond the
basic stuff most likely won't.
...
I disagree, though, that TexLive is necessarily too large
for distribution with Slackware.
...
Would it be against Slackware philosophy to ship a minimal texlive
with its own user-level package manager (tlmgr) enabled and usable? I
mean, Slackware ships CPAN already, which is similar in concept.
For those who want TexLive, is there some reason the slackbuild thereof
is not satisfactory:
https://www.slackbuilds.org/repository/14.1/office/texlive/
W. Greenhouse
2016-04-05 21:20:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
For those who want TexLive, is there some reason the slackbuild
https://www.slackbuilds.org/repository/14.1/office/texlive/
It looks like that one takes the all-inclusive approach of having us
download the entire contents of the TexLive DVD, but sure, it works.
JohnF
2016-04-06 07:14:24 UTC
Permalink
<<snip>>
I disagree, though, that TexLive is necessarily too large
for distribution with Slackware.
TexLive is modular; there are more options
than distributing the whole multi-gigabyte sumo edition.
TexLive also provides the ability to install luatex, xetex,
and context in addition to the usual [pdf]latex.
Yeah, you're precisely right. Anyone with the wherewithal to be
using (La)TeX in the first place has more than enough wherewithal
to trivially run the install-tl texlive install script, and to
select the subset of components they're actually using. Just
eliminating the foreign language stuff cuts the size in half,
or so. My install takes 3.08GB, lots more than slackware teTeX,
but not much wrt current disk capacities. And I wasn't even very
careful eliminating stuff I don't use.
Would it be against Slackware philosophy to ship a minimal texlive
with its own user-level package manager (tlmgr) enabled and usable?
I mean, Slackware ships CPAN already, which is similar in concept.
Yeah, apparently it is against slackware philosophy.
That same question's come up previously, and the answer's
always been "no". They should probably just move teTeX to
extras/ or pasture/, and let users install tl themselves.
--
John Forkosh ( mailto: ***@f.com where j=john and f=forkosh )
Henrik Carlqvist
2016-04-06 18:26:56 UTC
Permalink
They should probably just move teTeX to extras/ or pasture/, and let
users install tl themselves.
I agree that texlive is a useful piece of software and that it can be
really useful to complement a Slackware installation with texlive.

However, I think it would be a horrible bad idea to remove tetex without
including a full featured texlive or other replacement. Other software
have dependencies upon tetex, read section 22 in the slackbuild FAQ at
https://slackbuilds.org/faq/

If I remember right a2ps depends upon tetex and there are other pieces of
software which depends upon a2ps.

I think that tetex should stay in Slackware. Those compressed packages
occupies no more than 50 MB on your installation DVD and they will take
just as much space if you move them to /extra.

But feel free to remove tetex from your systems if you so like. The
Slackware package management will not keep track of any dependencies so
it will let you do so. I see no need to try that myself, maybe a2ps will
no longer be fully functional, maybe XFCE will not be fully functional
after removing tetex.

regards Henrik
--
The address in the header is only to prevent spam. My real address is:
hc351(at)poolhem.se Examples of addresses which go to spammers:
***@localhost ***@localhost
W. Greenhouse
2016-04-06 20:47:36 UTC
Permalink
Henrik Carlqvist <***@deadspam.com> writes:

[...]
Post by Henrik Carlqvist
However, I think it would be a horrible bad idea to remove tetex
without including a full featured texlive or other replacement.
Other software have dependencies upon tetex, read section 22 in the
slackbuild FAQ at https://slackbuilds.org/faq/
If I remember right a2ps depends upon tetex and there are other
pieces of software which depends upon a2ps.
I think that tetex should stay in Slackware. Those compressed
packages occupies no more than 50 MB on your installation DVD and
they will take just as much space if you move them to /extra.
But feel free to remove tetex from your systems if you so like. The
Slackware package management will not keep track of any dependencies
so it will let you do so. I see no need to try that myself, maybe
a2ps will no longer be fully functional, maybe XFCE will not be
fully functional after removing tetex.
regards Henrik
Thank you, I wasn't aware that it was used by other parts of Slackware
that need a TeX package of some kind.
TeTeX is indeed probably more self-contained than alternatives,
and users can still install a local copy of texlive for other stuff.

--
Best,
WGG
JohnF
2016-04-07 00:11:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Henrik Carlqvist
They should probably just move teTeX to extras/ or pasture/, and let
users install tl themselves.
I agree that texlive is a useful piece of software and that it can be
really useful to complement a Slackware installation with texlive.
However, I think it would be a horrible bad idea to remove tetex without
including a full featured texlive or other replacement. Other software
have dependencies upon tetex, read section 22 in the slackbuild FAQ at
https://slackbuilds.org/faq/
If I remember right a2ps depends upon tetex and there are other pieces of
software which depends upon a2ps.
a2ps and various convert conversions, etc, use ghostscript,
but that can be installed independently of the teTeX package.
I'm not sure if slackware puts ghostscript in the a-series,
or somewhere besides the teTeX series. It would be a mistake
for them to put ghostscript in the teTeX series because, as
you say, lots of programs use ghostscript. But there are far,
far fewer explicit teTeX/(La)TeX dependencies. I think I've
occasionally seen documentation distributed as (La)TeX source,
and then you do need (La)TeX to format it more readably.
But that's about it, I believe.
Post by Henrik Carlqvist
I think that tetex should stay in Slackware. Those compressed packages
occupies no more than 50 MB on your installation DVD and they will take
just as much space if you move them to /extra.
But feel free to remove tetex from your systems if you so like. The
Slackware package management will not keep track of any dependencies so
it will let you do so. I see no need to try that myself, maybe a2ps will
no longer be fully functional, maybe XFCE will not be fully functional
after removing tetex.
regards Henrik
--
John Forkosh ( mailto: ***@f.com where j=john and f=forkosh )
Henrik Carlqvist
2016-04-07 05:17:40 UTC
Permalink
I think I've occasionally seen documentation distributed as (La)TeX
source, and then you do need (La)TeX to format it more readably. But
that's about it, I believe.
Yes, but IMHO even that would be reason enough to include a good enough
latex in Slackware. Even if Slackware did not include any standard
packages which depends upon latex, a Slackware without latex would be
less useful for people downloading, compiling and installing software
themselves.

Just like Slackware includes compilers for common languages like C and
less common languages like pascal those compilers are not only used by
people using Slackware as their software development platform. Those
compilers are also used by people downloading and installing software
they want installed on their system.

Some languages like C++ are moving targets and every now and then gets
updated to newer versions with new releases of Slackware. This might be
necessary to install some new software. One day the same might become
true for latex and that day maybe Slackware will have to ship one extra
DVD just for latex, but I don't think that day have come yet.

regards Henrik
--
The address in the header is only to prevent spam. My real address is:
hc351(at)poolhem.se Examples of addresses which go to spammers:
***@localhost ***@localhost
Unknown
2016-04-11 05:13:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Henrik Carlqvist
I think I've occasionally seen documentation distributed as (La)TeX
source, and then you do need (La)TeX to format it more readably. But
that's about it, I believe.
Yes, but IMHO even that would be reason enough to include a good enough
latex in Slackware. Even if Slackware did not include any standard
packages which depends upon latex, a Slackware without latex would be
less useful for people downloading, compiling and installing software
themselves.
Just like Slackware includes compilers for common languages like C and
less common languages like pascal those compilers are not only used by
people using Slackware as their software development platform. Those
compilers are also used by people downloading and installing software
they want installed on their system.
Some languages like C++ are moving targets and every now and then gets
updated to newer versions with new releases of Slackware. This might be
necessary to install some new software. One day the same might become
true for latex and that day maybe Slackware will have to ship one extra
DVD just for latex, but I don't think that day have come yet.
regards Henrik
Is it such a monster!
I'm having big problems the *.html that has maths-formuars, apparently
in latex.

How do other users solve this problem?

== FG

j***@wexfordpress.com
2016-04-05 14:00:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Martha Adams
Post by j***@wexfordpress.com
As I have noted many times in the past the version of TeX included with Slackware is so obsolete as to be practically useless. Serious users use the newer version
called TeXlive and updated every year. But it is too big to include with the Slackware versions.
I have another suggestion: There is another DTP program that is gaining in usage.It is called Scribus. Currently the "stable-unstable release" is Scribus 1.5.1.
(How can a release be both stable and unstable? The Scribus mantainers have very conservative habits) The almost-ready new release will be 1.6.0 and the 1.5.x series are advance versions of 1.6.0. The really and truly developmental
version is currently called 1.5.3 but you have to download the source to get that.
These peculiarities aside I find both the Context version of TeX and the
1.5.1 version of Scribus to be useful in my work. TeX has goodies like multiple
TOCs, a slick indexing package called makeintes and the Bibliograpy feature. Scribus is much easier to use where multiple graphics are concerned and
handles multiple fonts much easier. Sometimes I use both on the same project.
So here is my scheme: drop the obsolete version of TeX. Include the 1.5.1
version of Scribus. Those who want to use TeX can dwnload and install the
2015 version of TeXLive.
I am not expert in many things but I know desktop publishing better than most.
John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters.
========================================================
I certainly think Scribus looks interesting and useful, however, I
*cannot* agree that the TeX in today's Slackware is "so obsolete as
to be practically useless." I was using TeX daily some 30+ years ago
and I would expect that if I made a comparison, today's Slackware
TeX would be like the TeX back then. That TeX then was useful for
serious work then and certainly would serve today, and I see a
further reason for Slackware to keep on with that "old" TeX.
It is, the serious tendency to creeping elaboration that is so
evident in today's software. Elaboration that makes the learning
curve steeper for the software, but contributes *nothing* to its
practical usefulness. That "old" TeX is as good today as on the
first day it was "new," in fact better because of its service
years for debugging. For which reason, if someone Up There in
today's Slackware is thinking if or not to retain that old TeX,
my clear request is, By all means, *please do,* its presence is
one of the more compelling reasons for the serious worker to
choose Slackware over other options out there.
Uffish thot -- I wonder if Culleton even has any useful knowledge
of using TeX? Could he sit down today and apply that knowhow to
supporting himself thru his knowledge of how to use it? As I
have done? Looking at what he writes, I doubt it.
Titeotwawki -- Martha Adams [Tues 2016 Apr 05]
As it happens I have used TeX versions (pdftex and Context primarily) since the late 1990's for both my own work and for my indexing and and typesetting clients.
The latest versions based on luatex or xetex will handle otf fonts as well as the now obsolescent Type 1 shipped with all editions of TeX. There are many other improvements over the years.

I am amazed to hear that Ms. Adams hasn't bothered to update her TeX software.
I would urge her to download and install Texlive 2015.

I do not support myself with my computer work but it makes for a significant part of my tax schedule C.
Jim Diamond
2016-04-06 00:35:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Martha Adams
I certainly think Scribus looks interesting and useful, however, I
*cannot* agree that the TeX in today's Slackware is "so obsolete as
to be practically useless." I was using TeX daily some 30+ years
ago and I would expect that if I made a comparison, today's
Slackware TeX would be like the TeX back then. That TeX then was
useful for serious work then and certainly would serve today, and I
see a further reason for Slackware to keep on with that "old" TeX.
It is, the serious tendency to creeping elaboration that is so
evident in today's software. Elaboration that makes the learning
curve steeper for the software, but contributes *nothing* to its
practical usefulness. That "old" TeX is as good today as on the
first day it was "new," in fact better because of its service
years for debugging.
I agree that saying tetex is "obsolete" is over the top, since it was
useful back then and equally as useful now.

I also agree that some software packages seem to gratuitously add new
features which seem to have no net benefit. I suspect part of this is
the ignorant opinion (which I see frequently in usenet postings and
similar places) that if a package hasn't been updated recently, it
must be broken and abandoned. Some people can't grasp the fact that a
piece of software might already do what it wants to do and does it how
it wants to do it.

However, saying "contributes *nothing* to its practical usefulness" is
also wrong. There have been a number of additions to TeX (as in the
overall TeX ecosystem) which make it very valuable for some people.
As one person mentioned, being able to use other fonts is a benefit to
some people. Being able to use UTF8 is good for others. I use TikZ
and find it indispensable. Further, if you are working with
colleagues or clients who use features not found in tetex, then in
a practical sense tetex is obsolete.

Cheers.
Jim
Martha Adams
2016-04-07 01:17:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Diamond
Post by Martha Adams
I certainly think Scribus looks interesting and useful, however, I
*cannot* agree that the TeX in today's Slackware is "so obsolete as
to be practically useless." I was using TeX daily some 30+ years
ago and I would expect that if I made a comparison, today's
Slackware TeX would be like the TeX back then. That TeX then was
useful for serious work then and certainly would serve today, and I
see a further reason for Slackware to keep on with that "old" TeX.
It is, the serious tendency to creeping elaboration that is so
evident in today's software. Elaboration that makes the learning
curve steeper for the software, but contributes *nothing* to its
practical usefulness. That "old" TeX is as good today as on the
first day it was "new," in fact better because of its service
years for debugging.
I agree that saying tetex is "obsolete" is over the top, since it was
useful back then and equally as useful now.
I also agree that some software packages seem to gratuitously add new
features which seem to have no net benefit. I suspect part of this is
the ignorant opinion (which I see frequently in usenet postings and
similar places) that if a package hasn't been updated recently, it
must be broken and abandoned. Some people can't grasp the fact that a
piece of software might already do what it wants to do and does it how
it wants to do it.
However, saying "contributes *nothing* to its practical usefulness" is
also wrong. There have been a number of additions to TeX (as in the
overall TeX ecosystem) which make it very valuable for some people.
As one person mentioned, being able to use other fonts is a benefit to
some people. Being able to use UTF8 is good for others. I use TikZ
and find it indispensable. Further, if you are working with
colleagues or clients who use features not found in tetex, then in
a practical sense tetex is obsolete.
Cheers.
Jim
=======================================================

Looking at how this thread has grown, I think I see my point about
creeping elaboration demonstrated well. Leading to a serious error,
that elaborated software is presented as a natural starting point.

I think that in fact, Slackware's old plain TeX is an excellent
starting point. Good practice would be to provide that, and then
offer the various elaborations for those who find some need for
them. In the mean time, I think it's worthwhile to mention that
Knuth's seminal book, 'The TEXbook', surely connects closely to
TeXs such as Slackware's, so that a beginner can start with a
plain TeX and that book, and work herself into a very useful
capacity for using it. I wonder how people get started with those
later elaborated varieties?

I think the original goodness of Slackware is preserved by keeping
the original old TeX (mentioning Knuth's TeXBook along the way).
That TeX can do just about anything you might reasonably want to do
for technical exposition (Read the book, it might surprise you),
and then there is all that stuff out there (and its exponents)
for those who have a taste for the elaboration. But to add all
that to good old Slackware, would distract and degrade from its
general usefulness and its goodness.

Namely: Start simple and build from that, works a whole lot better
for most of us, than does start with some "sexy" elaboration.
Which those without your especial inclinations may lose weeks to
months to careers, trying to figure-out what the thing is.

Titeotwawki -- Martha Adams [Wed 2016 Apr 06]
JohnF
2016-04-07 04:54:26 UTC
Permalink
Martha Adams <***@verizon.net> wrote:
<<snip>>
Post by Martha Adams
Looking at how this thread has grown, I think I see my point about
creeping elaboration demonstrated well. Leading to a serious error,
that elaborated software is presented as a natural starting point.
I think that in fact, Slackware's old plain TeX is an excellent
starting point. Good practice would be to provide that, and then
offer the various elaborations for those who find some need for
them. In the mean time, I think it's worthwhile to mention that
Knuth's seminal book, 'The TEXbook', surely connects closely to
TeXs such as Slackware's, so that a beginner can start with a
plain TeX and that book, and work herself into a very useful
capacity for using it. I wonder how people get started with those
later elaborated varieties?
I think the original goodness of Slackware is preserved by keeping
the original old TeX (mentioning Knuth's TeXBook along the way).
That TeX can do just about anything you might reasonably want to do
for technical exposition (Read the book, it might surprise you),
and then there is all that stuff out there (and its exponents)
for those who have a taste for the elaboration. But to add all
that to good old Slackware, would distract and degrade from its
general usefulness and its goodness.
Namely: Start simple and build from that, works a whole lot better
for most of us, than does start with some "sexy" elaboration.
Which those without your especial inclinations may lose weeks to
months to careers, trying to figure-out what the thing is.
Titeotwawki -- Martha Adams [Wed 2016 Apr 06]
Okay, I'll bite -- who/what's "Titeotwawki"?

You're right that Knuth's plain.tex format, described in The TeXbook,
"can do just about anything" (your words above). And if you're living
in your own world, maybe that's all you need. But nowadays, the vast,
vast majority of the rest of the world prepares documents using the
latex.ltx format, or derivatives of it like revtex (the Physical Review
format). Just look at papers in arxiv.org or similar archives.
I haven't quantitatively counted, but less (probably lots, lots less)
than one percent use plain tex. If you're doing real work for use in
the real world, you're very, very unlikely to be using plain tex.
And it's very, very bad advice to suggest beginners start by
learning that.

That's like telling beginning programmers that postscript is
a Turing complete language, and therefore "can do just about
anything" (again, your words above). True enough, but I'd suggest
they first learn C/C++ or js or whatever. Nobody writes actual
programs in postscript -- but in the "lots, lots less than one
percent" category, see pcal.sourceforge.net which is a very nice
postscript calendar program, where the postscript file actually
contains the calendar-generating program itself. Still, programming
actual programs in the postscript language is analogous to writing
in plain tex -- nobody really does it, and it's certainly bad advice
to suggest it to beginners.

Oh, just for kicks, here's another little postscript program.
Cut-and-paste it to a file called globe.ps and then run gv
(ghostview) against it, i.e., gv globe.ps ...

/A/copy/p/floor/q/gt/S/add/n/exch/i/index/J/ifelse/r/roll/w/div/H{{loop}stopped
Y}def/t/and/C/neg/T/dup/h/exp/Y/pop/d/mul/s/cvi/e/sqrt/R/rlineto{load def}H 300
T translate(V2L&1i2A00053r45hNvQXz&vUX&UOvQXzFJ!FJ!J!O&Y43d9rE3IaN96r63rvx2dcaN
G&140N7!U&4C577d7!z&&93r6IQO2Z4o3AQYaNlxS2w!!f&nY9wn7wpSps1t1S!D&cjS5o32rS4oS3o
Z&blxC1SdC9n5dh!I&3STinTinTinY!B&V0R0VRVC0R!N&3A3Axe1nwc!l&993dC99Cc96raN!a&1CD
E&YYY!F&&vGYx4oGbxSd0nq&3IGbxSGY4Ixwca3AlvvUkbQkdbGYx4ofwnw!&vlx2w13wSb8Z4wS!J!
c&j1idj2id42rd!X&4I3Ax52r8Ia3A3Ax65rTdCS4iw5o5IxnwTTd32rCST0q&eCST0q&D1!&EYE0!J
&EYEY0!J0q!x&jd5o32rd4odSS!K&WCVW!Q&31C85d4!k&X&E9!&1!J!v&6A!b&7o!o&1r!j&43r!W)
{( )T 0 4 3 r put T(/)q{T(9)q{cvn}{s}J}{($)q{[}{]}J}J cvx}forall 270{def}H
K{K{L setgray moveto B fill}for Y}for showpage
--
John Forkosh ( mailto: ***@f.com where j=john and f=forkosh )
Joost Kremers
2016-04-07 07:46:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Martha Adams
I think that in fact, Slackware's old plain TeX is an excellent
starting point. Good practice would be to provide that, and then
offer the various elaborations for those who find some need for
them. In the mean time, I think it's worthwhile to mention that
Knuth's seminal book, 'The TEXbook', surely connects closely to
TeXs such as Slackware's, so that a beginner can start with a
plain TeX and that book, and work herself into a very useful
capacity for using it. I wonder how people get started with those
later elaborated varieties?
Usually by reading the "Not So Short Introduction To LaTeX2e", which is
an excellent introducton to (current) LaTeX. Beginners shouldn't start
with plain TeX, since it's a very low-level format. You wouldn't tell a
novice programmer to start out learning C or C++ these days, you'd
rather suggest someting like Python. In fact, most users will never need
to use TeX directly, because LaTeX does everything they need and more.

But if someone starts learning LaTeX using Slackware's aging teTeX
system, they'll probably run into incompatibilities between teTeX's
LaTeX and current LaTeX very soon. And when they turn to some online
forum, news group or mailing list, the first thing they'll hear when
they ask any question is "upgrade your TeX installation".

I'm not saying that Slackware should start shipping TeXLive, but I do
think it's ridiculous to claim that Slackware shipping a 10-yo TeX
distro is a *good* thing. It's clearly a compromise.
--
Joost Kremers ***@fastmail.fm
Selbst in die Unterwelt dringt durch Spalten Licht
EN:SiS(9)
W. Greenhouse
2016-04-07 14:10:28 UTC
Permalink
Martha Adams <***@verizon.net> writes:

[...]
Post by Martha Adams
I think that in fact, Slackware's old plain TeX is an excellent
starting point. Good practice would be to provide that, and then
offer the various elaborations for those who find some need for
them. In the mean time, I think it's worthwhile to mention that
Knuth's seminal book, 'The TEXbook', surely connects closely to
TeXs such as Slackware's, so that a beginner can start with a
plain TeX and that book, and work herself into a very useful
capacity for using it. I wonder how people get started with those
later elaborated varieties?
TeTeX is alredy not a "plain TeX." It contains a LaTeX implementation,
just one that's 11 years out of date (and LaTeX has had significant
work in that time).
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