> Do you mean like Scrivener on the Mac?

I don’t know. I tried Context, then TeX, than went back to
Context. Now also Metapost. Sorry for beeing biased, but I really
like the programer approach to computers.

 > What, in any case, constitutes a universal layout approach? Does
 > one exist? (...)

I don’t think we need something universal. But there is a lot of
common guidelines for most things. For instance, text, music,
chess boards and pictures all have to fit or fill their place in a
page, and all can have a common main font to be used.

 > Yet he (...) sees the value of maintaining a knowledge base that
 > is predictable when it runs on a program that can pass the trip
 > test.

Actually, I’m trying to show my dad he can trust a computer to
typeset his class notes, if we use the right tools (i.e., Context
plus Metapost instead of what was used for his books in the 90’s,
when just a small change would ruin everything). But I’ve just
used ‘ϕ’ in a math formula for one of his papers and Context
silently ignores it. I’m sure there's a good reason for that. But
TeX is predictable when you write a default TeX style document. If
you leave it, you have to understand a lot of hidden issues, and a
dummy user like me will never know if all of them have been taken
care of.

 > Lose that for the sake of innovation, and you can lose real
 > knowledge.  And what shall we say for troff, which still
 > possesses an arcane sort of longevity?

Troff? I really miss the days of my old TK3000 text editor back in
the 80’s. It's great to use 80% of your time thinking about what
you want to write and 20% about typesetting. Today it's 4%
writing, 2% typesetting and 94% looking over thousands of pages of
wiki documentation. I still think Context is really great, but
I’ll never try to do something that’s not done in a default
installation again. Or try to understand why sometimes [n=x] works
but [n = x] doesn’t.

 > (...) you can be creating documents for all the world to see
 > even if you are out in the bush with a generator and mosquito
 > netting.

I wrote my résume a few months ago, and sent it to a few
companies, just to know a lot of time later that most of them
could not open it, since it was a PDF revision 1.8 instead of 1.3
(or something like that).

 > So TeX's stability has the interesting potential side effect of
 > giving a voice to the voiceless. Our cast-off hardware becomes a
 > window for freedom of speech and expression, (...)

Sure. I would like to have something simpler than TeX, not more
complex or hardware eater.

 > There are places where people still go outside to relieve
 > themselves, (...)

Like myself :)

 > Some folks think abstractly and can whack out macros like Paul
 > Bunyan chops wood. Some think visually (...)

I can only think abstractly. But TeX macros are a lot less
abstract than they could be. I believe DEK says they were never
supposed to be used the way they are.

 > DEK (...) brought all his respect and research regarding
 > longstanding, tried and true typographical traditions to his
 > writing of TeX.

Sure. You can’t miss that even if you understand nothing about
typesetting (like myself). After using TeX for a while, it’s
almost painfull to look at text printed by usual office tools.

 >> Maurício a écrit :
 >>  > Hi,
 >>  >
 >>  > Just because I'm curious: how could a typesetting system like TeX
 >>  > be if it was created today? I've tried google and wikipedia, and
 >>  > all I found different from TeX is a system called 'Lout', but it
 >>  > seems dead.
 >>  >
 >>  > (...)

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