[texhax] Doubts regarding the TeX & Latex

Herbert Gintis hgintis at comcast.net
Wed Jul 23 18:47:55 CEST 2003

At 03:55 PM 7/23/2003 -0400, doug waud wrote:
>I don't know exactly what you mean by this but suspect you refer to 
>useage. As is usual, and contrary to a lot of popular belief, this is 
>determined not by technical merit but by marketting. The wide use of a dog 
>like Micro$oft Windows demonstrates that point. Certainly the great 
>perponderance of those writing documents appear to use M$Word.
         Is it politically correct on this list to trash Microsoft and show 
destain for money? If so, I must protest. Microsoft is the best thing that 
ever happened to computer users, ever. It will never, never be replaced by 
user unfriendly software like linux or TeX. Never. They are much too hard 
to use for anyone except dedicated hackers and professionals that need 
their special capacities.
         I use TeX and LaTeX, and I know them quite well. They are 
marvellous, but difficult to use. Most of my colleagues, even those who do 
LOTS of math for a living, never get beyond Scientific Word. I am the only 
economist I know who can really hack LaTeX code and program in TeX. And it 
probably has hurt my productivity as a researcher. I do it as a hobby.
         TeX produces great-looking stuff (I prepared a camera-ready book 
for a major press with hacked LaTeX code, and it looks beautiful). But the 
programming language is about as klunky as one can imagine, with 
\expandafter and \csname and all sorts of other constructions that would 
make an object-oriented programmer weep.
         As for money, Bill Gates is the greatest humanitarian charitable 
giver in the history of the human race, and the profits Microsoft makes are 
minuscule in comparison to the power he has given people to control 
information without being beholden to the technocratic gurus of this world.



Herbert Gintis
Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of 
External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM
15 Forbes Avenue, Northampton, MA 01060
413-586-7756  (Home Office) 206-984-9873 (Fax)
Recent papers are posted on my <http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~gintis>web site.
Get Game Theory Evolving (Princeton, 2000) at 
Please Note: New Email Address is hgintis at comcast.net
Quote of the Week: Vivere militare est.
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