[texhax] Do any college courses exist in TeX?

Philip Taylor P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Tue Jun 23 10:03:14 CEST 2015

resolvent at comcast.net wrote:

> [...]

> I have never learned TeX, in spite of trying at least 20 times since
> 1990.

> [...]

> But, in spite of thousands of online tutorials & YouTube videos, we
> can never organize & memorize the massive number of commands in 
> markup languages like TeX.  So, in order for us to do it, we would
> need to take formal college courses in TeX and each of us devote
> several thousand hours learning it.

I think that if you have tried at least 20 times to learn TeX (and
failed), and if you estimate that it would take you and your colleagues
several thousand hours to master it even via the medium of a formal
taught course, then it would be best to accept that TeX is not for you.

The TeX paradigm (explicit markup, with no immediately visible effect)
is extremely natural for some, and extremely unnatural for others; the
latter group, on the other hand, often find WYSIWYG systems such as
Microsoft Word ideally suited to their own ways of thinking and working.

If you find TeX impossibly difficult to learn but find Word (etc) easy,
then your best solution to the NSF requirements will be to ensure that
your research team includes at least one member who is already fluent in
TeX, and ask him/her/them to prepare your material for archival.

Philip Taylor

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