[tex-live] Perl for Windows

David Kastrup dak at gnu.org
Mon Jun 19 15:23:51 CEST 2006

"Jerzy B. Ludwichowski" <Jerzy.Ludwichowski at uni.torun.pl> writes:

> David Kastrup:
>> If you move off a scroll bar horizontally accidentally while
>> dragging, it does not jump back?  You can just copy the home
>> directory tree of a user that is currently active without XP
>> balking out and aborting because the user's registry is open?  If
>> you "View properties" of a file or link, the dialog can be made to
>> display the whole path of the file without getting cut off?
>> Congratulations.
> Sarcasm is not what should be used here to make a point. Each and
> every operating system and user interface (especially visual) has
> it's deficiencies, at least for those who are not at home with
> them.

I just don't understand why Windows has to be considered sacred: with
every other system, deficiencies may be pointed out and eventually
fixed.  With Windows, you hit upon denial and irrational defense and
unrelated pseudo-rationalizations immediately.  I don't get it.

> Otherwise what point would there be in the constant strive to
> improve them?

Such a strive does not seem to be very effective.  The deficiencies I
mentioned have been present in Windows 1.0 already.  Instead of fixing
the old problems, new stuff gets tacked onto the top.

>> I was not talking about matters of taste.  The deficiencies I
>> described have no redeeming purpose whatsoever.  They are
>> inconvenient and nothing else.
> Matters of taste do matter.

But I was not talking about matters of taste.

> What is TL about?  I think that it is about getting TeX being used
> by as wide as possible audience.

Not in my book.  In my book it is about getting a large, reliable and
readily assembled TeX distribution into the hands of those that can
make use of it.  Of course, the readily assembled character increases
the possible target audience.  But the quality is not merely a
secondary means for proselytizing new users: it is worthwhile in
itself, and for existing users.  That TeXLive expands the prospective
TeX user base is a side effect.

> Nobody can claim that there are no Windows users, so instead of
> whining that Windows is bad and fighting flame wars about Christmas
> being a better holiday than, e.g., July 4th, let us concentrate to
> making a good product.

Well, I was rather put off about the incessant whining that Windows
must be all good.  I find it ridiculous.

> Nobody forces nobody -- except for circumstances -- to use
> Windows. But, if we want Windows users to use TeX, lets get on with
> the jobof providing convenient TL packaging for WIndows. BTW. please
> have a look at:
> http://www.unicode.org/notes/tn28/UTN28-PlainTextMath.pdf
> -- this might be perceived as a problem for our community: this is
> already shipped by MS with Office 2007 Beta -- and it works...

It is not a problem for our community.  If working alternatives are
more convenient than TeX, it is time to move on and/or improve TeX.
People that prefer other means are not a problem.  TeX's qualities
don't depend on everything else being too painful to consider.

In fact, I prefer it if people have WYSIWYG hacks and tools they can
work with, if that suits their style of work better.  In that manner,
the TeX community has its focus on the things desirable for TeX on its
own instead of those that don't work elsewhere.

>> If you prefer to consider the package as a whole worth having, that's
>> your privilege and a matter of taste.  But declaring clear
>> deficiencies as a matter of taste or non-existent does not make sense.
>> And no, nobody mimicks _those_, and for good reason.
> Again, Windows users are important to our community.

That does not mean that we need to glorify their choice of operating

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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