3.327 TeX and PC-TeX (67)

Sat, 5 Aug 89 15:24:15 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 327. Saturday, 5 Aug 1989.

(1) Date: Fri, 04 Aug 89 14:27:48 CDT (22 lines)
From: Steven J. DeRose <D106GFS@UTARLVM1>
Subject: TeX

(2) Date: 08/04/89 15:44:59 EST (27 lines)
Subject: TeX/LaTeX for DOS

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 04 Aug 89 14:27:48 CDT
From: Steven J. DeRose <D106GFS@UTARLVM1>
Subject: TeX

I'd like to add one small caveat about TeX:

TeX is not an authoring or writing system, but a *typesetting* system.
As that it is very good; that is to say, it allows you to place ink on
paper in quite subtle and sophisticated ways. *However,* I suspect most
of us are not professional typesetters, have no training in graphic design
anyway, and would make better use of our time by writing than by typesetting.

If you need to produce camera-ready copy, TeX is great; but this is a job
publishers used to do for you, at their own expense (both money and time).
While you're adding "italic corrections" and playing with leading, you
could instead be writing your next book, so I'd recommend thinking through
your goals before starting to learn TeX.

LaTeX is less prone to these criticisms, but still doesn't insulate
the author from the details as well as it might.

Steve DeRose
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------30----
Date: 08/04/89 15:44:59 EST
Subject: TeX/LaTeX for DOS

Regarding the public domain DOS versions that have been discussed, there are
two version of TeX available on the SIMTEL server. The file
PD:<MSDOS.TEX>-READ.ME on that server describes these two: SBTeX and DosTeX.

Read that file for more info, but briefly SBTeX is reported to be 2 to 3 times
faster and requires less memory. SBTeX doesn't come with fonts or printer
drivers but these are available from another site using FTP transfers over the
Internet. I don't see why the fonts and drivers that come with DosTeX wouldn't
work with SBTeX too.

I think Michael Stairs' assessment of TeX and LaTeX is accurate. I'm a big fan
of this system, but I'm also a programmer with a fast workstation with a good
enough graphics system to make previewing easy. I've helped secretaries learn
LaTeX, so one doesn't have to have a programmer to use the system. But, if
we'd had a WYSIWYG or Desktop Publishing system on our machines in the
beginning I would have certainly encouraged the secretaries to learn that
before learning LaTeX.

Tom Horton
Computer Science, Florida Atlantic University