In reference to your review of Blue Sky Research’s Textures for Macintosh:
As the person who prepares the LaTeX portion of the distribution kit for Textures, I was pleased to note that you found “the LaTeX support quite good”. It was and remains a lot of work.
As a longtime Textures user and booster of Blue Sky, I was also very pleased to find your review of their fine product on your web site. It is a very well written and technically sound review.
Some comments on your review:
- Despite its brevity, your description of TeX’s edit-typeset-preview-print cycle is one of the most cogent and clear I have seen. Also your discussion of Textures implementation by contrast to UNIX TeX is very good.
- I commend you on your idea of Textures supplying help in jumping from the error message in the log file to the source of the error. Now that Textures has synchronicity, the time is ripe for this feature.
- You say that the reader “feels slow”. To be sure, the code in Textures’ previewer can be substantially speeded up, and Blue Sky should be encouraged to undertake this long-overdue development effort.
- I was surprised to find “command-option click in the preview window” documented in your review. Before Textures 2.0, the hand was “command click”—and I wondered where it went. D’oh!
I would like to give you some information relating to a few points in your review:
- We provide LaTeX source to allow the user to re dump LaTeX, not “in case you want to edit them”—I do not recommend altering the LaTeX source. On the other hand it’s easy and effective to create variant definitions of LaTeX macros and to incorporate them into one’s job via a LaTeX usepackage statement. Conveying this information in your short review might be problematic, though.
- You say that if users “include files in Macintosh PICT format”, then “non-Macintosh users will be unable to typeset your files”. Not quite true. Typesetting will not be a problem, but when they go to preview or print the resulting DVI, no graphic will be visible.
- You say that, in the editor “there is only one level of undo”. No longer true. I can’t tell you for sure how deep undo presently is, but I believe it is “very deep”, meaning that it is limited only by application heap size.
- You mention Blue Sky’s technical support. Phone support is free to registered users, which is yet another justification for Textures’ “high” price.
Congratulations on and thanks for your excellent review.
You state in your latest ATPM article that HTML was never intended to be WYSIWIG. However, there was a recent published interview with the author of the first HTML editor on NeXT systems and the author of the original HTML (he is also one of the principals heading the WC3, damn if I can remember his name). He stated publicly that he is frustrated that people write HTML code at all and that the first HTML editor was a WYSIWIG type editor with no access to the underlying code. His vision was for HTML to be a personal communication medium (envisioning more wide spread adoption of Unix like personal security as well). People would use HTML to publish informtion to family and friends, not the world. Therefore, it needed to be very easy to use.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about our publication. We always welcome your comments, criticisms, suggestions, and praise at email@example.com. Or, if you have an opinion or announcement about the Macintosh platform in general, that’s ok too.