[Wikipedia-l] GUI? WYSIWYG?

Toby Bartels toby+wikipedia-l at math.ucr.edu
Mon Aug 12 07:52:15 UTC 2002

Michael R. Irwin wrote in part:

>I am unfamiliar with LaTex, does it do diagrams as
>part of its typesetting?

Not as such, although it can handle some in limited capacities
using its table making abilities.  This is mostly used
only for perfectly rectangular commutative diagrams.

But with sufficient programming and funky fonts,
these capabilities can be extended a great deal,
and there is a TeX/LaTeX package, Xy-pic,
that can handle diagrams of all sorts.
For an example of its work, see [[Image:Separation axioms]].
(After several conversions, this is lower quality than it could be.)
This would be a possible but advanced exercise in LaTeX,
but it's a pretty trivial application of Xy-pic.

That said, I'm not at all sure that Xy-pic lends itself to a GUI.
LaTeX, OTOH, does.  So while we might not use it for diagrams,
a GUI front end for LaTeX and a GUI front end for tables
might solve the problems that we're having with each of these.

>Axel, Jan and some others have been after LaTex.  Why?
>Because it greatly improves their efficiency and
>capability of presentation.

Although I've been dragging my feet on this,
it's essentially the user interface that's bothering me.
I too would like to have LaTeX if we can make it user friendly.
A GUI may well be just the way to go about that.

I've seen people here at UC Riverside use Scientific Workplace,
which is among other things, a GUI front end to LaTeX.
Or so it claims; its implementation of LaTeX is rather horrid IMO.
But it shows the possibilities of a WYSIWIG interface for TeX,
and that's an idea that that we might want to look into.
(We can't use Scientific Workplace as such, which is just as well,
but there are other WYSIWIG front ends to LaTeX, such as LyX.
I really don't know anything about these, however.)

-- Toby Bartels
   <toby+wikipedia-l at math.ucr.edu>

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