Strange Brouhaha

Monday, May 30, 2005

After the disaster...

I like TeXlipse. If you really want to use TeX/LaTeX with Eclipse, then you want TeXlipse. It is in no way the fault of TeXlipse that I deleted two years' worth of work! But I'm gunshy now, and that's bad, because you can't be worrying about workflow when you're writing, and if I kept using TeXlipse, I'd be worrying about workflow.

My M.O. up to this point has been to use only the most basic of tools: the vi text editor (actually vim) and the Unix terminal. It's been a great system, actually. Among other things, it's highly portable: I can work in the same way on pretty much any machine, even Windows, and have writing and typesetting and previewing function more or less alike, anywhere.

But part of the impulse that drove me to seek out new ways of working was the nagging sense that, although I had a good way of working, it was not necessarily the best way. After all, I'm using a modern GUI, and if you've got the tools, shouldn't you use them?

As it turns out, the answer is "yes and no." I'm definitely more of an "if it ain't broke" type of person when it comes to processes--and witness what happened when I made an arbitrary change. The "yes" part of the equation is a little more compelling: it's getting tough for me to SEE the terminal. So I sort of need to make a change, whether it's using a larger typeface in the terminal application, or switching to a GUI program.

Right now, I'm trying out TeXshop for Mac OS X. It's got a lot of nice features, although the syntax coloring leaves a lot to be desired, especially when a person is switching from vim. I'd also like to see line numbers in my source file.

(I'll be trying iTeXMac soon, too.)


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