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From: m20...@mwvm.mitre.org (Paul Hargrove)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.questions
Subject: RE: a word-processor for UNIX
Message-ID: <20306@adm.BRL.MIL>
Date: 20 Jul 89 21:14:59 GMT
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     I must say this has been a very heated discussion, and now I am ready to
put in my two bits.

     It seems to me that the most important piece of information lacking for a
good answer to the original question is: "what do _you_ mean by word
processor?  "

    It is important to note that different people have a different opinion of
what, to them, is truly a word processor.  Their are those who prefer WYSIWYG
and those who like the ability to just type the @#%!&* text in as fast as they
can think it up, and then use the *roff utilities to do the formatting as a
separate train of thought.  I personally am not big on vi or ed, but find most
of the WYSIWYG programs to be too slow redrawing the text after a more than
minor change... but I am digressing, my opinion is not really important.

     What is really important is what _YOU_ want in a 'word_processor', and I
think whatever it is _YOU_ want, you can find it for either *NIX or for a PC.
And I am sure any of you out there can manage to "put up with" MS-DOS for long
enough to start-up a WP program and print it out.

THE BOTTOM LINE:
                         EACH TO HIS OWN


Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed here-in are, in fact, shared by other
sentient beings, but I must withhold their names to protect the innocent.
.lf NOTE
*
*        Paul

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From: k...@garnet.berkeley.edu (Earl H. Kinmonth)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.questions
Subject: Re: a word-processor for UNIX
Message-ID: <26558@agate.BERKELEY.EDU>
Date: 21 Jul 89 04:05:50 GMT
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In article <20...@adm.BRL.MIL> m20...@mwvm.mitre.org (Paul Hargrove) writes:

>It seems to me that the most important piece of information lacking for a
>good answer to the original question is: "what do _you_ mean by word
>processor?"

This strikes me as the heart of the issue. **IX has various TEXT
processors ranging from fmt to ditroff. It does not, however, come with
any program that fits the expectations called up by the term "word
processor" in the MSDOS world. Nevertheless, even the crudest of the
original **IX tools have capabilities not found in the sexiest MSDOS
word processing or desk-top publishing tools.

Let me offer a real-world example. Ventura (Xerox) looks pretty sexy
until you try it with real world documents. Specifically, unless it has
been fixed since the last time I checked, it breaks when footnotes are
more than half of a text page. Many other MSDOS word processors don't
handle footnotes at all, or impose severe restrictions on their size.
In my field (history) it is not unsual to have footnotes that exceed
the text size. In legal writing (not a small and inconsequential
market), this situation may occur every N pages where N is 4, 3, or
even 2.

While it may take an adept a couple of days, even a week or so, to
write a macro for nroff/troff that can handle this situation, it CAN BE
DONE, and in double columns, triple columns, etc. And, once you've got
the macro written, four key strokes (.XX\n) will give you something
that you can't get with a $000 or $0000 software package, no matter how
hard you try.

Standard **IX text tools may not handle this situation as configured.
It may be HOLY HELL to write working macros. BUT, eventually, you'll be
able to FORCE the system to do WHAT YOU WANT. My experience with msdos
tools is that if what you want to do is not something the programmer
imagined, THAT'S JUST TOUGH.

For me, as an historian who must conform to the style requirements of
various journals and venues, the ultimate question is, "What is the
most expedient route to placing black marks on white paper in the form
expected/demanded by publishers?" So far, the answer has been vi/*roff.

Earl H. Kinmonth
History Department
University of California, Davis
916-752-1636 (voice, fax [2300-0800 PDT])
916-752-0776 secretary

(bitnet) ehkinmo...@ucdavis.edu
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From: ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.questions,comp.text
Subject: what is a word processor and is it any good
Message-ID: <18681@mimsy.UUCP>
Date: 21 Jul 89 22:17:49 GMT
References: <20306@adm.BRL.MIL> <26558@agate.BERKELEY.EDU>
Followup-To: comp.text
Organization: U of Maryland, Dept. of Computer Science, Coll. Pk., MD 20742
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(In an effort to move this discussion away from comp.unix.wizards,
I have cross-posted this to comp.text and directed followups there.
People reading this on UNIX-WIZARDS are out of luck.  Get NNTP :-)
To people with kill files, sorry about the change of subject; the
`was' part did not fit.)

First:

In article <20...@adm.BRL.MIL> m20...@mwvm.mitre.org (Paul Hargrove) asks:
>>It seems to me that the most important piece of information lacking for a
>>good answer to the original question is: "what do _you_ mean by word
>>processor?"

(Note that I asked the very same question in the first followup to
the question that sparked this discussion.)

In article <26...@agate.BERKELEY.EDU> k...@garnet.berkeley.edu
(Earl H. Kinmonth) begins with an answer that most will agree with:
>This strikes me as the heart of the issue. **IX has various TEXT
>processors ranging from fmt to ditroff. It does not, however, come with
>any program that fits the expectations called up by the term "word
>processor" in the MSDOS world.

Which, it seems, really means `WYSIWYG text formatter', where WYSIWYG
is a common abbreviation for What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get.

But first:

>In article <18...@mimsy.UUCP> I, ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek), wrote:
>>... One of the big advantages of WYSIWYG `word processors' here is that
>>the typist gets immediate feedback, not only of the text being entered,
>>but also of the control operations.  By definition, that feedback will
>>always be missing from `batch formatters'.

No one should disagree with this, since this is the definition of
WYSIWYG.  But call this `statement 1' anyway.

>>On the other hand, WYSIWYG systems tend to lack structural feedback.

Call this `statement 2'.

>>For some purposes this is fine, and word processors do have their
>>places.  For others---including letter-writing, which is one of those
>>`business applications'---reusability and skipping irrelevant details
>>are important;

Call this `statement 3'.

>>structure-oriented batch formatters win here.

S 4.

>>(`.LH' or `\letterheader' can generate the company logo and the return
>>address all at once; a phone number need only be changed in one place;
>>etc.

An example, not a statement.

>>WYSIWYG systems tend to allow these things as special cases, if at all.

S 5.

>>If your case is more special than most, you may be out of luck.)

S 6.

Now, in article <1...@garcon.cso.uiuc.edu> mccla...@euripides.cs.uiuc.edu
(Tim McClarren) writes:
>I wasn't going to get into this conversation, because I hear it too
>often.  I don't understand why people say things such as the above.

With which statement(s) do you disagree?  I am going to guess number 4
(`structure-oriented batch formatters win here'), since it seems to
me the most controversial.

>I do have two theories: 1) They don't use WYSIWIG wp's, like MS Word
>on the Mac, or 2) They don't read the manual figuring there isn't
>anything in the manual that isn't in the menus.

This is quite possible.  (I tend not to use WYSIWYG `word processors',
because I like structural systems more than layout systems.)

>IMO, it's simpler to have a file named 'template' that has a letterhead
>already in it, one that you can actually see, load it into word, and 
>type in the letter!  Save using 'save as...' to a any arbitrary file.

This is certainly a special case---you are not `defining a letterhead',
you are cutting and pasting.  This breaks down when the task gets more
complicated.  What you are doing is copying a layout, not referring to
a structural element.

>Actually, if you really want to save time, define a macro with the
>letterhead in it.

A what?  A *macro*?  That is certainly not WYSIWYG!

(Which is, of course, the point.)

>IMO, there's just no comparing good ole' cut and paste with "label
>letterhead: define letterhead; preview; print; if {doesn't look right}
>goto letterhead", etc.

You still have to draw the darn thing in the first place.  That task is
equally hard in both systems, except that with a WYSIWYG editor the
feedback loop is much shorter (which is a big advantage).  (Note that I
did *not* say WYSIWYG was useless.)  Once you have it, you should be
comparing cut-and-paste with refer-to-existing-file-or-macro.

Back to k...@garnet.berkeley.edu:

In article <26...@agate.BERKELEY.EDU> k...@garnet.berkeley.edu
(Earl H. Kinmonth) writes:
>Nevertheless, even the crudest of the original **IX tools have
>capabilities not found in the sexiest MSDOS word processing or desk-top
>publishing tools.

I am not so certain.  The Unix tools (and other systems' tools---after
all, there are TeXes for the Mac and IBM PC and so forth) win in the
end by being programmable; but there may be some MSDOSish `wp' or `dtp'
systems that are also programmable.  I have not come across any, but I
have not looked.  So I will not say `nothing else comes close', not
without some very specifics about what is supposed to be close to what,
and for what purpose.

>Let me offer a real-world example. Ventura (Xerox) looks pretty sexy
>until you try it with real world documents. Specifically, unless it has
>been fixed since the last time I checked, it breaks when footnotes are
>more than half of a text page. Many other MSDOS word processors don't
>handle footnotes at all, or impose severe restrictions on their size.
>In my field (history) it is not unsual to have footnotes that exceed
>the text size. In legal writing (not a small and inconsequential
>market), this situation may occur every N pages where N is 4, 3, or
>even 2.
>
>While it may take an adept a couple of days, even a week or so, to
>write a macro for nroff/troff that can handle this situation, it CAN BE
>DONE, and in double columns, triple columns, etc. And, once you've got
>the macro written, four key strokes (.XX\n) will give you something
>that you can't get with a $000 or $0000 software package, no matter how
>hard you try.
>
>Standard **IX text tools may not handle this situation as configured.
>It may be HOLY HELL to write working macros. BUT, eventually, you'll be
>able to FORCE the system to do WHAT YOU WANT. My experience with msdos
>tools is that if what you want to do is not something the programmer
>imagined, THAT'S JUST TOUGH.

The problem actually goes deeper than this.  The whole point of WYSIWYG
is that what you see is what you get: you see what you get; you get
what you see.  *By definition* you cannot get things without seeing
them; once you do, you are no longer talking about WYSIWYG---if you get
something without seeing it, then what you see is not what you get.
At best, what you see is less than what you get.  At worst, what you
see is completely different from what you get.  Most of the WYSIWYG
systems I have seen are really somewhere in between, and none have
been pure WYSIWYG.

What we are really talking about here is *abstraction*.

If I may be allowed to overgeneralise, abstraction is the key to
everything.  It is the real difference between Man and the `lesser
animals'.  (Cannot be tools; chimps use tools.  Thumb?  Pandas have
thumbs.  So, I think, do some sloths.  Fancy hand hardware might be
necessary, but seems insufficient.)  Man makes abstractions, and by
building abstractions upon abstractions, we made the world we have
today.  (Some might call this reason for immediate abandonment of
batch formattters. :-) )  All computer languages use abstractions,
and the higher level the abstractions, the higher level the language
is considered.  Anyway, abstraction is clearly very important.

(Getting the abstractions correct is alo very important.  Bad ones
will lead one down the garden path, as they say.  A bad abstraction
might be worse than none at all.)

Anyway, the real problem with pure WYSIWYG is that it stops at a low
level of abstraction: what you see on the screen is what you get on the
page.  Often it is important to keep those details off the screen.  I
do not care how the footnotes are numbered, or (to a great extent) how
the math is typeset, or how long the pages are or how many characters
fit on a line---the purpose of the text is to communicate, and I want
to concentrate on the ideas being communicated.  This requires that
I discard irrelevant detail.

(Note that the detail must be added back later, at which time it is
*not* irrelevant.  WYSIWYG systems can be very good at designing the
details.)

>For me, as an historian who must conform to the style requirements of
>various journals and venues, the ultimate question is, "What is the
>most expedient route to placing black marks on white paper in the form
>expected/demanded by publishers?" So far, the answer has been vi/*roff.

(I switched, and gladly, to [editor]/*TeX, myself, having tired of
the holy hell mentioned above.  TeX can certainly be tricky, but
at least it has long names.  And boxes and glue are fun :-) .)

Maybe the ultimate answer is some kind of huge WYSIWYG/batch
combination.  I am leery of monolithic systems, however, and think that
a system of tools may be best.  And that, to me, means batch formatters,
prewiewers, figure editors, and even an occasional `word processor',
whatever that may be.
-- 
In-Real-Life: Chris Torek, Univ of MD Comp Sci Dept (+1 301 454 7163)
Domain:	ch...@mimsy.umd.edu	Path:	uunet!mimsy!chris

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From: w...@attctc.Dallas.TX.US (Wolf Paul)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: what is a word processor and is it any good
Message-ID: <8735@attctc.Dallas.TX.US>
Date: 23 Jul 89 12:18:53 GMT
References: <20306@adm.BRL.MIL> <26558@agate.BERKELEY.EDU> <18681@mimsy.UUCP>
Reply-To: w...@attctc.Dallas.TX.US (Wolf Paul)
Organization: The Unix(R) Connection BBS, Dallas, Tx
Lines: 46

In article <18...@mimsy.UUCP> ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek) writes:
>The problem actually goes deeper than this.  The whole point of WYSIWYG
>is that what you see is what you get: you see what you get; you get
>what you see.  *By definition* you cannot get things without seeing
>them; once you do, you are no longer talking about WYSIWYG---if you get
>something without seeing it, then what you see is not what you get.
>At best, what you see is less than what you get.  At worst, what you
>see is completely different from what you get.  Most of the WYSIWYG
>systems I have seen are really somewhere in between, and none have
>been pure WYSIWYG.

No, unless you have something like a previewer on a Sun-size screen,
most everything called WYSIWYG today is actually WYSIaWYG -- "WHAT
YOU SEE IS   A L M O S T  WHAT YOU GET" -- and in many ways this is
worse than batch style editing/formatting.

However, some of the more popular word processors in the PC world,
notably PC-Write, are very much like a combination of editor and
formatter in a UNIX environment. In fact, PC-Write is a shell which
alternately invokes an editor program and a printing program.
You enter dot commands in the editor, and get no feedback until you
print.

And even more expensive and sophisticated programs like MS-WORD do
not act as WYSIWYG systems while you are entering and editing text --
not until you hit the PREVIEW command do you get to see an (often illegible!)
approximation of what your page looks like. So someone could equally
well write a troff or tex screen previewer (maybe this even exists, already)
for a graphics terminal, and add it as a third component to the editor
and print formatter, and you would have a word processor as capable as
MS-WORD 5.0, with the additional benefit of programs like tbl and eqn
(has anyone tried formatting complex tables with Word 4.0/5.0, especially
when using proportionally spaced fonts? Give me *roff with tbl any day!).

And in any case, give me systems which store my files as flat text files,
with formatting instructions embedded where they belong, rather than systems
like WORD, which have their own proprietary file format which is difficult
to decipher and convert to something else, or to rapidly modify using such
tools as sed and awk.

Wolf.
-- 
Wolf N. Paul * 3387 Sam Rayburn Run * Carrollton TX 75007 * (214) 306-9101
UUCP:   {texbell, attctc, dalsqnt}!dcs!wnp
DOMAIN: w...@attctc.dallas.tx.us or wnp%...@texbell.swbt.com
        NOTICE: As of July 3, 1989, "killer" has become "attctc".

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From: cos...@bbn.com (Bernie Cosell)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: WYSIWYG flamage (was Re: what is a word processor and is it any good)
Message-ID: <43132@bbn.COM>
Date: 23 Jul 89 15:54:15 GMT
References: <20306@adm.BRL.MIL> <26558@agate.BERKELEY.EDU> <18681@mimsy.UUCP> 
<8735@attctc.Dallas.TX.US>
Sender: n...@bbn.COM
Reply-To: cos...@BBN.COM (Bernie Cosell)
Organization: Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc., Cambridge MA
Lines: 85

In article <8...@attctc.Dallas.TX.US> w...@attctc.Dallas.TX.US (Wolf Paul) writes:
}In article <18...@mimsy.UUCP> ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek) writes:
}>The problem actually goes deeper than this.  The whole point of WYSIWYG
}>is that what you see is what you get: you see what you get; you get
}>what you see. ...
}
}However, some of the more popular word processors in the PC world,
}notably PC-Write, are very much like a combination of editor and
}formatter in a UNIX environment. ...
}
}And even more expensive and sophisticated programs like MS-WORD do
}not act as WYSIWYG systems while you are entering and editing text --
}not until you hit the PREVIEW command do you get to see an (often illegible!)
}approximation of what your page looks like. So someone could equally
}well write a troff or tex screen previewer (maybe this even exists, already)

Just so: on the Amiga, AmigaTeX will let you run with two windows open
and type TeX into one and have the previewer show it to you formatted in
the other (most of this comes partly-for-free because, unlike the MAC and the
PC, the Amiga will really multi-task, and so having the two windows 'active'
is no real trick: the only sneaky part is the IPC to get your text down into
TeX, and then the .dvi back up to Preview mostly auotmatically).

}And in any case, give me systems which store my files as flat text files,
}with formatting instructions embedded where they belong, rather than systems
}like WORD, which have their own proprietary file format which is difficult
}to decipher and convert to something else, or to rapidly modify using such
}tools as sed and awk.

There are two other major problems with WYSIWYG systems:

    they lose most of the logical structure of the document, and so
    impede its text being used in other contexts (where the printing
    rules may be different).  The newer WYSIWYG systems (like Word 4.0)
    address this to some extent, but it is still fairly marginal by the
    standards of the really powerful highlevel markup systems [for
    example: you start on a doc that will talk about Unix and decide,
    for no really good reason [you're not really trained in all this,
    after all] to use boldface for Unix commands AND Unix file names.
    You run off a proof of your document and realize that this is was a
    loser of a decision: how do you change it now?  In TeX, you would
    have had \filename and \command and just tweaked one or the other.
    When this happened with a WYSIWYG doc here, a programmer had to go
    through the WHOLE document by hand, and carefully sort out which
    was which, and then a copyeditor had to go and change the font on
    EACH affected word....ugh!  The real world (of multi-author
    documents, of text that must survive its original venue and move
    forward from document to document) is filled with examples like
    this where the loss of the logical structure of the document bags
    you.

    The second is that virtually no one with a Mac on their desk has
    the barest smidgeon of training in matters relating to document layout
    and design[*].  Fonts , point sizes, leading, page layout, etc., are
    chosen at random or on a whim, typographical conventions are
    invented on the fly.  Is the page too black (and so will turn
    readers away)?  Is it hard to skim the document (and so any reader
    who is bored in the first page will be obliged to dump the
    document)?  Does the document help focus the reader's (presumably
    limited) attention on the really important parts?  Does the
    document shout "We're not very professional here"?  Judging from
    most of the stuff produced here at BBN, the prevailing attitude is
    that having read a whole bunch qualifies them to "we don't know art
    but know what we like" [just as, I suppose, they would argue that a
    lifetime of watching movies qualifies them to direct one]; the
    'meta issues' (like "does the document really DO what it was
    intended for?") is not even a consideration.

	[*] As I've pointed out here at BBN, and as is painfully
	apparent to the editorial staff who have to SEE a lot of the
	crap we write, very few of us are even competent to deal with
	the basic *writing* style matters.  Would these ideas be better
	served by longer or shorter paragraphs?  Should they be
	described in running text or in a simple bulleted list?  Should
	it be written in the present or future tense?  Are the
	sentences too long and complicated?  etc...  It is amazing to
	get into an argument over point sizes with someone who seems
	not to be able to write a decent paragraph in the first place,
	but is filled to the brim with ironclad opinions about the
	proper way to PRESENT the sow's ear so as to silk-purse it.

   __
  /  )                              Bernie Cosell
 /--<  _  __  __   o _              BBN Sys & Tech, Cambridge, MA 02238
/___/_(<_/ (_/) )_(_(<_             cos...@bbn.com

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From: gill...@p.cs.uiuc.edu
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: WYSIWYG flamage (was Re: what i
Message-ID: <77900017@p.cs.uiuc.edu>
Date: 3 Aug 89 04:34:00 GMT
References: <210927@<1989Jul28>
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Nf-From: p.cs.uiuc.edu!gillies    Aug  2 23:34:00 1989


Re:  Troff is great; look at all the books written in troff.

I believe a revolution is coming, and troff will be the first against
the wall (to be sacrificed).

Troff will die because of the t in it's name -- "Typesetter".
Typesetters are being replaced by laserprinters, which do a lot more.
Take a look at the output language of ditroff sometime.  Here are the
only graphics objects in the language:

  lines, thick lines (berkeley), circles, arcs, ellipses, and splines.
  characters, fonts, font sizes.

Ask yourself, 

(1) How do I shade objects with different patterns or continuous halftones?
(2) How do I draw thick objects in general?
(3) How do I label the y axis of a graph, using 90-degree rotated words?
(4) How would I label the arcs in a network flow graph with rotated letters?
(5) How would I draw a black box and then etch characters into it (in
    reverse video?)
(6) How do I include halftone / binary / floyded images?
(7) How do I superimpose graphics objects on top of each other?

The macintosh (and postscript) have all these abilities.  Troff has
none.  All you need is a program to create these quickdraw/postscript
images, and then you may paste them into your favorite WYSWYG word
processor (mine is MS-Word, but Writenow, Fullwrite, Wordperfect, or
Macwrite work equally well), and print them out at full postscript
(300+ dpi) resolution.  Face it, troff is an elephant, which deserves
respect, a gold watch, and retirement very soon.

Troff is also missing some formatting niceties, such as the ability to
wrap text around a picture, or lay out pages like PageMaker or other
page layout programs.

About the only thing troff does better than these word processors is
typeset mathematics.  MS-Word typesets mathematics in an ugly fashion.
I have talked to some people at microsoft, and they are considering
improving MS-Word mathematics in Macintosh Word 5.0.  Most other
macintosh word processors do no math at all, but you can "draw"
equations with one of a half-dozen equation-formatting desk
accessories and paste them in.  Some of these do an excellent job.

I believe TeX will survive longer because its equation-formatting and
word-spacing ability is unparalleled.  But it will eventually succomb
to the WYSWYG revolution, or its equations will be incorporated into a
WYSWYG editor.

If you want to have "a text stream I can ftp to my friends", then you
should think about postscript.  Postscript makes a great archival
medium, as long as you treat the postscript file like a piece of
immutable preprinted paper.  Why not mail that friend a postscript
master, and he can print it out on most of the laser printers in the
country.


Don Gillies, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Illinois
1304 W. Springfield, Urbana, Ill 61801      
ARPA: gill...@cs.uiuc.edu   UUCP: {uunet,harvard}!uiucdcs!gillies

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From: c...@deneb.ucdavis.edu (Earl H. Kinmonth)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: WYSIWYG flamage
Message-ID: <5060@ucdavis.ucdavis.edu>
Date: 6 Aug 89 05:29:14 GMT
References: <210927@<1989Jul28> <77900017@p.cs.uiuc.edu> <8891@attctc.Dallas.TX.US>
Sender: u...@ucdavis.ucdavis.edu
Reply-To: c...@deneb.ucdavis.edu (Earl H. Kinmonth)
Organization: University of California, Davis
Lines: 34

[attribution removed; don't get bent out of shape!]

>  >Troff is also missing some formatting niceties, such as the ability to
>  >wrap text around a picture, or lay out pages like PageMaker or other
>  >page layout programs.

Maybe I'm an "ivory tower" intellectual out of touch with the world,
but where, I ask, outside of PEOPLE magazine and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER,
is the ability to wrap text around pictures of any consequence?

I'm an historian. I've never seen an historical text that would have
been better by virtue of having the text wrapped around pictures. I
also did undergraduate work in electrical engineering and business. I
can't imagine a situation where anything I read in these disciplines
would have been improved, either in appearance or ability to transmit
needed information, by having text wrapped around pictures.

Indeed, the only places I've seen text wrapped around pictures is in

(a) comic books;

(b) shoppers and junk mailer inserts in newspapers.

Is my education incomplete? Am I missing something? Will my colleagues
suddenly stand up and applaud if I can wrap text around pictures? Will
my students suddenly vote me teacher of the year if I can give them
handouts with the syllabus wrapped around a picture of Hirohito (I
teach Japanese history)?

I have about three meters of shelf space devoted to various computer
manuals and textbooks ranging from Aho and company on compilers to
Sedgewick and others on algorithms. Am I intellectually lacking because
I can't figure out how any of these would be improved by having text
wrapped around the illustrations?

Path: utzoo!utgpu!watmath!iuvax!uxc.cso.uiuc.edu!uxc.cso.uiuc.edu!
m.cs.uiuc.edu!gillies
From: gill...@m.cs.uiuc.edu
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: WYSIWYG flamage (was Re: what i
Message-ID: <8800031@m.cs.uiuc.edu>
Date: 7 Aug 89 07:27:00 GMT
References: <210927@<1989Jul28>
Lines: 29
Nf-ID: #R:<1989Jul28:210927:m.cs.uiuc.edu:8800031:000:1447
Nf-From: m.cs.uiuc.edu!gillies    Aug  7 02:27:00 1989


/* Written 12:29 am  Aug  6, 1989 by c...@deneb.ucdavis.edu 
in m.cs.uiuc.edu:comp.text */
> I'm an historian. I've never seen an historical text that would have
> been better by virtue of having the text wrapped around pictures.

Then you've never seen an illuminated manuscript.  Remind me NEVER to
take a course from you!  Of course, this type of wrapping is trivial.
The other type of wrapping (they kind that appears in our local
newspaper "Features" section almost every day of the year) is more
sophisticated.

People should think before they jump.  What I hear is,

"If it's not done by troff, it must be unimportant"
"Troff (like OS/360) is a standard, hence it is good, and we should
all exchange troff documents (yeah, like we should all buy IBM 360's!)"

I've also heard some intelligent points about footnotes, and
multi-column flaws in some WYSWYG word processors (in MS-Word 4.0, 2
columns takes just 3 keypresses, and numerous footnotes seem to work
just fine).

I said troff math output looks better than MS-Word.  I haven't looked
at the output from any Mac equation editors, but they may well rival TeX
(which is superior to troff).  Having written math in BOTH troff and
MS-Word, I find troff math is extremely hard to write, and very tricky
to debug (like it took me over an hour to get a full-page equation
with several cases to work).  On a PC, you could *draw* the equation
in about 5 minutes, despite its complicated nature.

Path: utzoo!utgpu!watmath!att!pacbell!ames!amelia!eos!shelby!bloom-beacon!
bu-cs!dartvax!griggs!hugo
From: h...@griggs.dartmouth.edu (Peter Su)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: WYSIWYG flamage (was Re: what i
Message-ID: <14903@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU>
Date: 8 Aug 89 12:52:34 GMT
References: <210927@<1989Jul28> <8800031@m.cs.uiuc.edu>
Sender: n...@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU
Reply-To: hugo@griggs (Peter Su)
Organization: Dartmouth College
Lines: 104

In article <8800...@m.cs.uiuc.edu> gill...@m.cs.uiuc.edu writes:
>
>/* Written 12:29 am  Aug  6, 1989 by c...@deneb.ucdavis.edu 
in m.cs.uiuc.edu:comp.text */
>> I'm an historian. I've never seen an historical text that would have
>> been better by virtue of having the text wrapped around pictures.

Amen.

>"Troff (like OS/360) is a standard, hence it is good, and we should
>all exchange troff documents (yeah, like we should all buy IBM 360's!)"
>

Okay, I will not claim that troff is the be-all and end-all of text
processing systems.  I won't even claim that it is any good.  I will
claim that it is more powerful an flexible than any of the pretty toys
you can run on the Macintosh or other PCs.  I don't even like troff, but
I'd rather use it than MS Word, Macwrite, Word Perfect, or any of that
dreck.

>Comments about math and multiple columns.

Ok, let's get away from kid's stuff.  Most available programs are pretty
good at layout.  But, layout isn't all there is to a good text
processor. In fact, layout is arguably the LEAST important feature of a
good text processor.  A good text processor should let you do useful
things to your text easily.  To that end, no PC based text processor I
have used is any good, because I have never used one that could do any
of the following, relatively easy things:

1) Generate bibliographies from a set of bibliography database queries
(i.e. like refer or BibTeX).  These should be able to be formatted in
many different ways, depending on the document style.

2) Allow the user to label sections, figures, theorems, equations,
whatever, with symbolic names and then use those names to generate cross
references.  Like, "see Figure \name{foo}" generates "see Figure 2 on page
30..."  Oh, these cross references should be allowed to be numberedany
way I like (i.e. by chapter, section, subsection, part, *anything*), and
also formatted any way I like.

3) *Easily* split a document up into "modules" and have the capability
to only format selected parts when I need to.  Of course, this only
applies to batch type formatters, but none of the interactive formatters
allow you to link documents easily.  Like in Word, you can do it, but
you have to keep track of the starting page numbers for each document
manually, this is *stupid*.

4) Allow the user to give symbolic names to frequenty used constructs
(say, some mathematical notation) so that if that construct happens to
change, he/she only has to change the definition of the name in one
place, not all over his/her document.  Really, no text editor alive can
munch through say, 1000 pages of text doing a global replace without
being *real* slow about it.  And what if I'm changing, say 

"g(x) sub x sup y" to "g(x) sup x sub y"... or something similarly
hideous?  

5) Conditionally generate text in applications other than mail merge.

6) Automatically number sections of text in arbitrary ways.  Like, say I
want my Chapters numbered "a,b,c..." then sections "I, II , III..." then
the rest "1,2,3..." can your favorite word processor do this?  What if
later i decide that I don't like that scheme and want to change to all
arabic numerals.  Suppose I want to number things by chapter and
section, but I don't want a dot to separate the section number from the
chapter number, so chapter 1 section 1 is "11"...(I helped to format a
book where this was what the author wanted)?

7) Search and replace on regular expressions...


I can go on and on.  The gist of this is that I do not really care if
the latest wiz bang 'word processor' on the block can wrap text around
an arbitrary b-spline, or include 8 bit gray scaled images with my text.
I don't care if can let me edit text formatted in 8 columns, each in a
different type face with different line spacing.  All those CPU cycles
are being wasted displaying information that is not important until
after I have written my text, and I don't want to think about until
then! Meanwhile, there are no cycles left for useful, text oriented
functions like the ones I mentioned above.

And, to quote Leslie Lamport, without permission:

"As you are writing your docement, you should be concerned with its
logical structure, not its visual appearence."

or

"LaTeX was designed to free you from formatting concerns, allowing you
to concentrate on writing.  If, while writing, you spend a lot of time
worrying about form, you are probably misusing LateX."

I claim that WYSIWIG are overly concerned with form, and no concerned
enough about with the logical operations that result in the form 
that you want.

I will also claim that LaTeX isn't the ultimate answer.  It has its
problems, and some of them are BIG, but I think that right now it is the
least awful of all the evils.

Thank you for listening,
Pete

h...@sunapee.dartmouth.edu

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ginosko!uunet!mcvax!hp4nl!kunivv1!eykhout
From: eykh...@kunivv1.sci.kun.nl (Victor Eijkhout)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: WYSIWYG = DIY (=hubris)
Message-ID: <387@kunivv1.sci.kun.nl>
Date: 9 Aug 89 12:16:34 GMT
References: <210927@<1989Jul28> <8800031@m.cs.uiuc.edu> 
<14903@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU>
Reply-To: eykh...@wn2.UUCP (Victor Eijkhout)
Organization: University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Lines: 42

In article <14...@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU> hugo@griggs (Peter Su) writes:
>I claim that WYSIWIG are overly concerned with form, and no concerned
>enough about with the logical operations that result in the form 
>that you want.

This is an essential point. The discussion so far has been mostly
on capabilities. Well let's grand that a virtuoso can do the same
things with a WYSIWIG system and with a mark-up language (TeX, troff).

Now how about if I am not the designer of the layout. 

Personally I feel that what I turn out is somewhat less execrable than
a lot of what I see, but I am dead sure that a professional designer
will make something that is still a whole lot better. I know, because
I have had the occasion to work with one a number of times.

How about this one: I come to this designer with a manual of which
I have already typed the first 40 pages, say that's 100 sections and
subsections, and she tells me 'Oh please do all your headings
in capitals'.

Or this one: I have keyed in a linear algebra course, hundreds of
exercises, and she says 'It would look nice if all your
exercises [that I did TeXbook style, first two lines indented]
were completely indented, with the number flush against the left
margin and a dotted line leading up to the first word'.

In both cases my texts were in TeX (with some provisory macros
so that I could at least print), and implementing those changes
took 5 minutes each.

Question: can someone tell me that with a wysiwig it is just
as easy to make a global design change?

Conjecture: wysiwig systems are for people who make their own
layout, and who have decided on the definitive layout
before they started keying in the text. This I think is a wrong
way of working. I think I have a right to say this, because I've
produced some 'master pieces of the printing art', and the design
was done by a pro, and only after I had finished the text.

Victor.

Path: utzoo!utgpu!watmath!iuvax!purdue!gatech!prism!rh26
From: r...@prism.gatech.EDU (Howard,Robert L)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: WYSIWYG = DIY (=hubris)
Message-ID: <1438@hydra.gatech.EDU>
Date: 10 Aug 89 17:39:08 GMT
References: <210927@<1989Jul28> <8800031@m.cs.uiuc.edu> 
<14903@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU> <387@kunivv1.sci.kun.nl>
Reply-To: r...@prism.gatech.EDU (Howard,Robert L)
Organization: Georgia Institute of Technology
Lines: 66

In article <3...@kunivv1.sci.kun.nl> eykh...@wn2.UUCP (Victor Eijkhout) writes:
>In article <14...@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU> hugo@griggs (Peter Su) writes:
>>I claim that WYSIWIG are overly concerned with form, and no concerned
>>enough about with the logical operations that result in the form 
>>that you want.

>This is an essential point. The discussion so far has been mostly
>on capabilities. Well let's grand that a virtuoso can do the same
>things with a WYSIWIG system and with a mark-up language (TeX, troff).

That seems fair.

>Now how about if I am not the designer of the layout. 

>How about this one: I come to this designer with a manual of which
>I have already typed the first 40 pages, say that's 100 sections and
>subsections, and she tells me 'Oh please do all your headings
>in capitals'.

[ Example 2 deleted ]

>In both cases my texts were in TeX (with some provisory macros
>so that I could at least print), and implementing those changes
>took 5 minutes each.

>Question: can someone tell me that with a wysiwig it is just
>as easy to make a global design change?

Yes, it is....if the person is smart enough to use styles (or style
sheets) in his document.

Using your first example this person would set up a style for all headings
and call it HEAD.  He makes HEAD do bold italics (well, why not :-).  Then 
every heading he types is formatted using the HEAD code.  It shows up on 
his screen in bold italics.  Now the designer really freaks and says to use 
caps.  All you need to do is go to wherever the HEAD style is defined, delete 
the bold and italic codes, and add the 'use all caps' code.  (Now I will 
admit you're in trouble if there is no such code but the point is that it is 
simple to do.)  What is the result?  In just a few seconds (depending on the 
speed of the computer) you have all the headings in caps AND you can SEE the 
change.

Sounds pretty good to me.

>Conjecture: wysiwig systems are for people who make their own
>layout, and who have decided on the definitive layout
>before they started keying in the text. This I think is a wrong
>way of working. I think I have a right to say this, because I've
>produced some 'master pieces of the printing art', and the design
>was done by a pro, and only after I had finished the text.

I think your conjecture is probably correct (for the most part) but 
my point is that you don't have to work that way if you are smart.
Why not enjoy seeing a reasonable facsimile of your document right
on the screen?

Just a few thoughts.
(They've worked for me. :-)

Robert

-- 
Robert L. Howard  (GTRI/STL/MSD)             (404) 421-7165
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Georgia, 30332
uucp:     ...!{allegra,amd,hplabs,ut-ngp}!gatech!prism!rh26
Internet: r...@prism.gatech.edu

Path: utzoo!attcan!utgpu!watmath!iuvax!uxc.cso.uiuc.edu!tank!mimsy!chris
From: ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: WYSIWYG = DIY (=hubris)
Message-ID: <19001@mimsy.UUCP>
Date: 11 Aug 89 10:45:21 GMT
References: <210927@<1989Jul28> <8800031@m.cs.uiuc.edu> <1438@hydra.gatech.EDU>
Organization: U of Maryland, Dept. of Computer Science, Coll. Pk., MD 20742
Lines: 15

In article <1...@hydra.gatech.EDU> r...@prism.gatech.EDU
(Howard,Robert L) writes:
[good points about using `style sheets' in IBM PC `word processors]

>Why not enjoy seeing a reasonable facsimile of your document right
>on the screen?

Mostly because, at the moment, that is not possible.  A reasonable
facsimile of the document would require a 2000x3000 pixel screen.
At lower resolutions, emulating the printed page produces something
which is sufficiently hard to read that I prefer not to look at it
while editing.
-- 
In-Real-Life: Chris Torek, Univ of MD Comp Sci Dept (+1 301 454 7163)
Domain:	ch...@mimsy.umd.edu	Path:	uunet!mimsy!chris

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