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ziggy (25)

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Journal of ziggy (25)

Thursday January 30, 2003
11:28 PM


[ #10309 ]
I was pretty harsh on DocBook X the other day. It is a large download (16MB) that doesn't do very much. It's a bunch of shell scripts that act as wrappers for Java programs, and it doesn't seem to work very well using bash, but it might work when using tcsh and offering the appropriate number burnt silicon offerings to the relevant daemons.

I like using DocBook. I am probably one of maybe seventeen people on the planet who can say that and mean it. (I even prefer to use vim instead of a wizzy XML editor.) Somehow, I managed to get through school mumble years ago without getting seriously into TeX. I'm not fond of it to this day because writing in TeX feels like I'm programming, not writing a document.

My TeX installation of choice is teTeX, and it works on all *NIX operating systems I come across on a regular basis. (Many thanks to the TeX-heads who make this possible). But I'm still not entirely thrilled using TeX. On Mac OS X, however, it's not all bad. I use TeXShop when I'm writing or converting tex documents, like the source files for The Perl Review.

Setup and configuration wasn't exactly seamless, but it was relatively painless. I set up a new installation today from scratch. I started by copying TeXShop into ~/Applications, and it worked fine, except that it couldn't typeset anything. :-) The problem was that I didn't have TeX installed. I could have installed it with a simple fink install bundle-tetex, but over a modem, that would take forever to download the various teTeX and related sources. I had most of the source files available from an earlier install on another machine, so I copied them to /sw/src before running fink, and only downloaded some recently updated packages.

Still no love. A quick spin through the TeXShop preferences, and I found the problem. It was looking for pdfTeX in the wrong location. After I reset it to look for pdfTeX in /sw/bin, quit and relaunched, everything was just dandy.

TeXShop works with teTeX and a couple other Mac OS X TeX implementations. And, yes, TeXShop is open source software (GPL to be precise).

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  • Somehow, I managed to get through school mumble years ago without getting seriously into TeX.

    In this sentence, you try to avoid disclosing the number of years ago, but you put an upper bound on the number that means it isn't all that huge after all.

    Since I can recall having to wait for the release of V3 of the Art of Computer Programming while I was at university, you can deduce that getting into TeX was not (yet) an option for me then.

  • Back in my grad school days, I used Textures [], which I chose
    because the type set view was kept current with the source.

    Much easier to copyedit while looking at the typeset that at the
    LaTeX source.