Linked by Killermike on Tue 27th Feb 2007 16:49 UTC
Features, Office Lyx is an open source, structured document creation system. Conceptually, it falls somewhere between a markup editor and a word processor. The creators of Lyx have coined the term WYSIWYM (what you see is what you mean) to summarise the approach that Lyx takes to document creation.
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Text Editors
by Agent69 on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:18 UTC
Agent69
Member since:
2005-07-07

Personally, I like to use a plain text editor for writing. On my Mac, it works great since spell check is available system wide (at least for Cocoa apps).

I need to find something similar for XP.

Reply Score: 1

I've used it
by driftwolf on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:22 UTC
driftwolf
Member since:
2006-11-30

Unfortunately, LyX doesn't handle complex documents very well. To get output it needs to use the local latex compiler, which is fine. Unfortunately Lyx often creates uncompilable latex even for the simplest thing. It's a fantastic concept, but needs a lot more work before I'd use it for anything at all complex.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I've used it
by jwwf on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:28 UTC in reply to "I've used it"
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

Unfortunately, LyX doesn't handle complex documents very well. To get output it needs to use the local latex compiler, which is fine. Unfortunately Lyx often creates uncompilable latex even for the simplest thing. It's a fantastic concept, but needs a lot more work before I'd use it for anything at all complex.

I have never had this problem with it. Not saying that you're wrong; we're probably just using it for different things. I have used it on Solaris and Windows for doing "fancy" math documents, and everything has been fine.

For that application, at least, it's a good, easy tool.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I've used it
by Pierpaolo on Tue 27th Feb 2007 22:25 UTC in reply to "I've used it"
Pierpaolo Member since:
2005-07-11

I use LyX very often, and never had such problems. Never heard about them too. Perhaps I'm just lucky? Never seen something better than LyX/LaTeX for writing complex documents...

Reply Score: 2

Wordprocessors warning
by sb56637 on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:39 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Word processors like MS Word or OO.o Write are a dangerous, time-wasting tool if improperly used. Although both of these support styles, I would bet that 99% of users ignore these features and micro-format everything on the fly. Many users don't want to spend the time to learn or tweak style settings for the common documents they create, but they pay for it later. For example, it often takes hours or days to tweak a document when a formatting change is required, or when small format change is made and the entire document is thrown into a jumbled confusion. Lyx / LaTex is really a beautiful tool for serious companies who don't want their writers to have to work double-duty as graphic designers.

Edited 2007-02-27 17:41

Reply Score: 5

RE: Wordprocessors warning
by searly on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:53 UTC in reply to "Wordprocessors warning"
searly Member since:
2006-02-27

I can second that ... well the bit with MS Word. I work for a software company (enterprise client server software)and our application consultants have to frequently write 800 page long design documents for our clients ... in Word - absolute nightmare, especially if ore than one consultant works on the document. We usually spend at least 2-4 days fixing the problems created by Word, before we can send the document out to client and a reasonable (albeit not great) state. I haven't tried Lyx myself ... would it be able to handle that kind of documentation, 800 pages, diagrams screenshots, tables, cross-references, footnotes ... the lot?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wordprocessors warning
by sb56637 on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Wordprocessors warning"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

Wow, 800 pages. Yes, Lyx, or at least the LaTex system, is IDEAL for adding cross refs, footnotes, diagrams, everything that a professional document usually contains. In fact it was designed with that sort of document in mind. It's not worth it for a two page memo, but anything over 8 pages and it's worth the learning curve to do it in LaTex. LaTex effectively does the style proofreading so you don't have to.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wordprocessors warning
by Doc Pain on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:07 UTC in reply to "Wordprocessors warning"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Although both of these support styles, I would bet that 99% of users ignore these features and micro-format everything on the fly."

I think you're right. I just held such a ridiculous document in my hands. Glad we're using OpenOffice at work, I extracted the text and typesetted it in less than three minutes. Now it's looking fine.

"Micro-formatting" is a nice term to describe what many people - mostly home users - do with well engineered applications as OpenOffice. Styles are supported for years, but most users don't notice this. Or they don't care.


"For example, it often takes hours or days to tweak a document when a formatting change is required, or when small format change is made and the entire document is thrown into a jumbled confusion."

When I was at the university, I had to advice some students how to typeset a diploma thesis. They didn't know how to do it using their expsensive MICROS~1 programs. And what they gave in for correction simply looked terrible, just as a child has written it. Text was arranged using spaces, strucural elements were implemented via font size and decorations. Section 1 had subsections A, B and C, while section 2 had subsections I, II, III and IV. The text lines were set nearly on top of each other. No margins, no page numbers, no table of contents. And the source directory was a mess. Needless to say you can to a quite adequate diploma thesis with OpenOffice. But why isn't it done the way the developers intended it to be done? Maybe it would be an option for OpenOffice to have a "typesetting mode" which prevents the user from doing the silly stuff described above.

"Lyx / LaTex is really a beautiful tool for serious companies who don't want their writers to have to work double-duty as graphic designers. "

I totally agree and would like to {/em emphasize} two words which I think are important:

serious

Serious work requires educated judging about (1) what tool to use and (2) how to use this tool. A certain knowledge is needed to choose the right tool for each job. "Try and error" is not and educated concept for creating documents.

writer

Writers create content and structure, not text attributes. If they're serious, they concentrate on what they want to express. They use the proper means of the respective language. They plan how to structure their document. It's kids who like their text coloured, their lines rolling and their documents looking funny.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Wordprocessors warning
by sb56637 on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Wordprocessors warning"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

>>And what they gave in for correction simply looked terrible, just as a child has written it. Text was arranged using spaces, strucural elements were implemented via font size and decorations. Section 1 had subsections A, B and C, while section 2 had subsections I, II, III and IV. The text lines were set nearly on top of each other.

Yep. At my job they were doing patent declarations, and pulling off the same tricks with MS Word. "Spacebar formatting."

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wordprocessors warning
by Temcat on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:24 UTC in reply to "Wordprocessors warning"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

I try to always use styles in Word, but unfortunately, sometimes explicit formatting works more reliably in Word due to bugs. This is mostly related to lists, both numbered and bulleted - they have a nasty habit to change formatting even when set using a properly defined style. This is only exacerbated by external tools working with Word such as Trados. I've had it both in 2000 and 2003 versions, though 2003 was slightly better in this respect. OpenOffice.org is more reliable here, but has other quirks and shortcomings that prevent me from being really productive in it even when I don't need 100% MS compatibility for the job.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wordprocessors warning
by Doc Pain on Tue 27th Feb 2007 20:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Wordprocessors warning"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"OpenOffice.org is more reliable here, but has other quirks and shortcomings that prevent me from being really productive in it even when I don't need 100% MS compatibility for the job."

So the LaTeX itemize and enumerate environments are what you're searching for. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wordprocessors warning
by rayiner on Wed 28th Feb 2007 00:32 UTC in reply to "Wordprocessors warning"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

By sb56637 (1.85) on 2007-02-27 17:39:33 UTC
Word processors like MS Word or OO.o Write are a dangerous, time-wasting tool if used.


There, I fixed it for you.

Yeah, they're perfectly adequate for a memo or a letter, but for anything of serious length there is no beating LaTeX. In the last few years, I've done two large project reports (100+ pages) in Word (because nobody else on my team had ever heard of LaTeX). It generally took two people most of a weekend to do the final print-out. Some of that was due to last-minute tweaking, but a large percentage of it was due to iterating between Word and the printer, trying to get them to agree on what the document looks like. And don't even get me started on how sketchy Word gets when handling large, complex documents.

PS> Apparently, not just my experience either. Though, I've got another anecdote to throw at Word's feet. My dad works in international development. USAID, the part of the government that handles such work, standardized on Word in the late 1990s. Every time the company sends out a proposal or final report (which generally run 50-100 pages of core text, plus several times that in appendices), they have a team of people (a lot of interns!) work out the micro-formatting. This is a process that can take the better part of a week for a large report.

Edited 2007-02-28 00:45

Reply Score: 2

LyX, LaTeX: Concepts
by Doc Pain on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:51 UTC
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

Personally, I like the concept of a diversion between content and form. The writer can concentrate on what he intends to say rather than which font size, attributes etc. he wants to use. LyX supports this concept and helps the author in preventing him doing silly things like typing a single space on a line or formatting tables (or twocolumn text) with spaces - don't tell me anything, I've seen it all! :-)

I do most work in "real" LaTeX (pdflatex): Scientific papers, forms, reports, flyers, memos, notes, letters. Especially for scientifical publications it's very nice because you can easily use formulas and graphs. You even can compost symbols that are not available by default, such as arrows with text on top of stacked letters.

While LyX sometimes has problems with complex documents (including references, footnotes, citations, images etc.) - as it has been pointed out -, it's fine for the most simple documents.

People who have something to say that they consider to be of some value, they mind the proper form of the document. Form should always be adequate to content. Or what would you think about an application for a job written on toilet paper? :-) Using LyX, documents don't look half-hearted (or, as we say in german, "hingekackt und hingeschissen" - translate for yourself). LyX is able to use wellformed fonts.

Furthermore, LyX and LaTeX take care of what most people just don't know about: Typesetting. LyX is not a word processor, it's a typesetting system, so is LaTeX. LyX does not require the author to know about jyphenation, grey values, paragraph setting and all these "complicated" things.

I've seen a lot of MICROS~1 "Office" spoiled users having problems to seperate content from form in their mind or developing a document structure (sections, subsections, paragraphs, enumerations etc.). But in fact, it's what most people seem to want to have: A program that just lets them type their text and then formats it automagically, correct and pretty.

BTW, tkbrief ("Brief" is a letter in german) is a nice tool, too. Personally, I use a preconfigured dinbrief documentclass for my private letters. This "made me a lawyer" at a local court, just by the form. I had to write some text to the judge for a friend of mine, and the answer was "Sehr geehrter Herr Rechtsanwalt... als Verteidiger in dem Verfahren..." (Rechtsanwalt = attorney at law / lawyer, Verteidiger = defender) - they really thought I was a lawyer, but I never claimed to be one. Just because my letter seemed to look this way... :-)

With a few hacks, LaTeX and LyX can be made supporting the standard german orthography and hyphenation. This is something that is hard to realize in OpenOffice and, as far as I know, impossible in MICROS~1's product for some years - they only support a non-official / non-ministerial subset of some newspeak derivate.

Reply Score: 4

RE: LyX, LaTeX: Concepts
by mjmoran on Wed 28th Feb 2007 09:59 UTC in reply to "LyX, LaTeX: Concepts"
mjmoran Member since:
2005-08-13

"While LyX sometimes has problems with complex documents (including references, footnotes, citations, images etc.) - as it has been pointed out -, it's fine for the most simple documents. "

The secret is to have a padded desk as to not knock yourself out trying to figure it out. I spent probably around 2 hours trying to get citations and references working properly. Once it worked, it worked great.

I use Lyx for almost everything, however, I have found a few places where it could be fixed up.
1. I gives crazy error messages, which, if you use latex might make sense, but for someone who has only used Lyx(yeah I know) most of the errors are crazy cryptic.
2. The UI needsd some consistancy, though I am a stickler for that. I have 3 different versions(on different platforms) and they all have different UI's, no big changes, but it can be a little disorienting. This problem appears to be clearing up however.
3. Trying to wrap your head around some of the elements require that padded desk to hit your head on. Tables sometimes cause errors, and Lyx is more than happy to allow you to pick mutually exclusive options and just fail silently(or loudly depending on what you did). Now, most of this is just learning curve but it still can get crazy.

With these three things in mind I highly recommend Lyx and have converted several people to it. Even with those times I sometimes feel like firing up OpenOffice.org Writer because Lyx isn't doing what i want, when it finally works, it works great. And there is something about submitting a report and having it just look great that I really enjoy.

Reply Score: 2

User Interface Straight From Hell
by Ford Prefect on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:43 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

I tried Lyx several times. It always failed, due to the bad user interface. It was not only how it was set up, it was also due to the used toolkit itself.

For example, the menu font was too big, so not all entries did fit into the window. Now if you wanted to reach the last visible entry (which was cut), the application crashed.


Oh, this was really a showstopper!


I'm very glad to read they switched to QT4, which is a very decent toolkit! I guess it's time to give it yet another try ;)

Reply Score: 3

Surprisingly easy to teach
by alcibiades on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:54 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

My experience is its surprisingly easy to teach, once people get the knack of using the pulldown menu for styles.

Its often the little things that make a difference to users. For example, I have set people up with a 19 inch screen, opening one page full screen length for writing, and then putting on the right the table of contents.

This is a pretty simple outliner, but to someone whose earlier experience is navigating through a huge document with just up and down arrows in a WP, it seems like magic. You just hop around effortlessly from section to section, you collapse and open up your section headings, you write and always have the structure of the document over on the right of the screen, you promote and demote by pulling down and clicking headings. You are really free to focus on content and structure.

In addition, Lyx is the only thing that I've ever seen produce a reaction of speechless pleasure and amazement when the user first saw the pdf output. How could it be that something so booklike came out with absolutely no attention to formatting?

And best of all, you never again have your support person telling you to use tabs instead of spaces when you really can't see what difference it should make....

Anyone supporting authors should make a serious effort to get them using Lyx. If they get over the first steep part of the curve, they will never go back to WP.

Reply Score: 4

prefer vi and pdflatex
by estrabd on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:57 UTC
estrabd
Member since:
2006-01-18

I tried this thing a few times, and I alway came back to the command line. I still use Word and OO writer for quick things, but if I care about formatting, I use the above mentioned tools or - suprise, suprise, Google docs.

Yes, the latter has its use - especially for quickly typing up something that you intend on distributing via .pdf. Don't use tables, though, it is painfully slow ;)

Reply Score: 1

Long tables...
by DrCurl on Tue 27th Feb 2007 19:00 UTC
DrCurl
Member since:
2006-01-17

Sadly, I had to rely on Office for my PhD thesis...
I write articles about genomics, which require extra long tables. In the past, I struggled with LaTeX to format those use tables over several pages but I just don't have the time anymore. A simple copy paste from Excel into Word does the job. I just wish that OpenOffice would have a nice bibliography system like the LaTeX/BibTez combo.
Until then, I must endure Office/Endnote.

Reply Score: 2

Great, but not that great
by jack_perry on Tue 27th Feb 2007 19:17 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm a mathematician, and I use Lyx nearly every day to write tests, homework solutions, and even papers for journals. It's great to use instead of LaTeX, and the developers have put serious work into it. I've even reported bugs that they've fixed, and the mailing list is responsive.

That said, consider this example from the article: What if I wanted to use an unusual font on part of the document? Within a word processor, I would have to actually edit using that font, regardless of its usability. I could solve this problem by using a more neutral font when editing and then change back to desired font for print out. Unfortunately, as you change the font, all of the document layout alters around it. Another problem with this approach is that, in my experience, a procedure of this sort is apt to encourage errors to creep into the creative process.

As a die-hard user of Lyx, I must say that this example actually reflects worse on Lyx than on Word. I don't believe the author has ever tried changing the typeface in LyX... say, changing the serif typeface from the defaults to URW Garamond to Bitstream Charter. I have done so, and I wish him good luck! At a minimum, one has to know a little LaTeX. More than likely (especially if one isn't using MikTeX, which miraculously finds & installs packages that aren't pre-installed, something other TeX distributions haven't figured out yet), you'll have to install additional fonts by hand. This is no mean feat, considering that the installation instructions on CTAN aren't entirely correct (updmap, oops, we mean updmap-sys on some systems, and even then following the directions doesn't work on a few systems).

More so, and even worse for the author's example, once you've installed these fonts, you still have only one serif typeface available for the entire document. Period. If you want to change the serif font throughout the document from time to time, you'll have to know even more LaTeX, because Lyx doesn't let you switch typefaces (from Computer Modern to Times New Roman, say) in the middle of a document.

Sure, you can get the help necessary to figure out how to do it. But it isn't for newbies and the faint of heart. You'll spend so long doing it the first time that you'll regret having wished that you could use a different serif font. After that, it works, and you love it and you think you're hot stuff. But you'll pull out a lot of hair until then.

I do not mean this as a slight against Lyx; Lyx is a great program that makes my life immensely easier. The example given is simply not the best.

Reply Score: 5

Another trick
by sb56637 on Tue 27th Feb 2007 19:18 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Another surprisingly effective tool for professional, consistent formatting is any one of the good wikis available on the internet. All of them have a lightweight markup language where you define "what" you are typing, and then there's an interpreter that turns it into consistent, well-formatted text. I actually prefer these wikis to a wordprocessor when I have a small document to write containing a few tables or headings or ordered lists. My favorite is http://tiddlywiki.com . It's a single interactive html file with a CSS stylesheet that defines all the parts of the document and an easy markup language. These combine to produce beautiful, consistent formatting.

Reply Score: 1

eMagius
Member since:
2005-07-06

...only worse. From the user interface to the file format, one would be hard pressed to crate a worse editor. It is beyond my ken as to how anyone could possibly recommend the use of such a monstrous blight.

Although [La]TeX proper does take a few minutes to learn, the extra time spent pays for itself very quickly. If one really needs menus and a full development environment, TeXShop, Kile, and TeXnicCenter are much superior options.

Reply Score: 2

arooaroo Member since:
2005-07-06

I hear what you're saying and to some degree I think you're right in principle. Lyx can become complex. However, I ultimately think it's an excellent bridging tool to take those who are only familiy with Word Processors towards a more Latex orientated approach. So, it's nice for newbies to create a document in a GUI not too dissimilar from a word processor, yet immediately benefit from content/style separation, excellent quality output, PDF support, and many other touches which Latex users are used to (decent float handling, bibliography support).

Tha said, I agree that getting stuck in with pure Latex code is the best approach for more substantial documents. The Getting to Grips with Latex tutorials are a good place to start: http://www.andy-roberts.net/misc/latex/

Reply Score: 1

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Although [La]TeX proper does take a few minutes to learn, the extra time spent pays for itself very quickly."

This is so true.

"If one really needs menus and a full development environment, TeXShop, Kile, and TeXnicCenter are much superior options."

Actually, I'm writing a (small) book (in fact, a therapist's manual) about autogenous training (a means of recreation). I use the mcedit Midnight Commander editor with syntax highlighting at 80x70, right next to an xterm with pdflatex && gv. :-)

Development environments with menues are a good solution if you are not familiar with the LaTeX language elements in order to help learning the underlying concepts and methods. But soon you'll see, you can work faster if you don't use the GUI tools and use your favourite text editor.

Reply Score: 2

jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Although [La]TeX proper does take a few minutes to learn...

A few "minutes"? I don't think there's a single soul on the face of the earth who can learn "[La]TeX proper" in a few minutes. I've been using LaTeX for years, and I still don't consider myself to have mastered it. Nor do I have a yen to type all the control characters for a fair-sized matrix (say) when Lyx lets me simply move up & down through it.

I typed my doctoral dissertation using Lyx. It was quite a large dissertation, and I'm desperately glad I didn't have to code it in native LaTeX. I had no problem splitting the document into sections, editing each section separately, incorporating them into a master document, referencing with BibTeX, etc. I actually had fun typing my dissertation, thanks to Lyx. I can't think of anyone else in my department who said that.

Your strong aversion to Lyx baffles me. The interface is not monstrous at all; are you thinking of the former xforms interface? That wasn't that all that bad either, quite frankly, but I hated it too.

I do have complaints about the interface, starting with the fact that the developers seem to take delight in substantially rearranging the menu layout with every dot-dot release (let alone every dot release!) but I cannot imagine calling it "monstrous blight", especially in comparison to the programs you seem to prefer.

Reply Score: 3

alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

You're both right and wrong on this. Yes, Lyx is probably not a particularly good pure LaTeX tool, and yes, other graphical tools are probably better at this, and maybe if you want to write LaTeX you should learn to write it by hand and really understand it.

However, for a writer, its not a LaTeX tool at all, and it doesn't get judged on its merits as one. Its a tool for writing that happens to generate LaTeX, but which he/she would like equally well if it generated .doc files. Or even rtf files. Its the writing aids that are the real attraction - the separation of formatting and writing content.

You really have to see people try it. It takes about an afternoon to get them started and writing, and you have to follow up and be available for questions and demos for a while longer. Maybe sit in while they write seriously, and be available to show things, to get them through the early learning curve fast and easily. Though its no harder to support than OO in this respect. Do this, and what you will observe is people putting out 100 page plus documents properly structured with almost no effort, whereas before 30 pages was an effort and looked terrible.

There are some downsides to it. First, it is rather more technical to do some customizations. Second, tables are not well supported at all by comparison to any modern WP, as another poster points out. Third, drag and drop is non-existent (or was in the previous version). You were down to cut and paste, and you couldn't use the TOC to move sections around. So its not perfect.

But in its ability to let someone write in a visible document structure with little effort, its a gem.

Reply Score: 3

djangoxl Member since:
2006-03-10

Does anyone know if there exists a good video tutorial on using Lyx? I would be interested to see some of the things described here "in action".....

Reply Score: 1

BaKoMa TeX
by sb56637 on Tue 27th Feb 2007 19:48 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Another "visual" LaTex editor I found is described here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BaKoMa_TeX

And a nice LaTEX non-visual IDE is here: http://www.toolscenter.org/home.html

Reply Score: 2

16 Volumes of the Arabian Nights
by tyrione on Tue 27th Feb 2007 20:05 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

I'm compiling this in Kile/Tex-Live via Latex and the Memoir Class.

I look forward to testing the complete Volumes in LyX.

The current publication is over 5,000 pages.

Yes LaTeX can handle large publications.

I chose Kile when I wanted to get into more of LaTeX and typesetting.

LyX should have no problem managing this publication.

Edited 2007-02-27 20:07

Reply Score: 2

lyx gtk2
by W-Tarchalski on Tue 27th Feb 2007 20:23 UTC
W-Tarchalski
Member since:
2005-07-18

You also can build lyx with gtk2 toolkit, just --enable-frontend=gtk (or so) in configure.

It's not complete jet, but definitely usable at the moment.

Reply Score: 1

Got me interested in real typesetting
by korpenkraxar on Tue 27th Feb 2007 20:45 UTC
korpenkraxar
Member since:
2005-09-10

LyX may have its limitations and may not be perfect for someone who already knows Latex, but working with LyX as a newbie and seeing the amazing results, I got very interested in typesetting and have actually bought myself a Latex book. Which I haven't opened yet, but still :-)

Reply Score: 2

My needs
by fretinator on Tue 27th Feb 2007 22:01 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

;];];];];];];];];];];];];];];];];];];];];];];];]

But I need my embedded POWERPOINT slides
with the embedded Visio Diagrams

AND

I need the dancing elephants next to the title and the Animated Flashing WordArt.

:>}:>}:>}:>}:>}:>}:>}:>}:>}:>}:>}:> ;}:>}:>}:>}:>}

Reply Score: 4

RE: My needs
by Doc Pain on Wed 28th Feb 2007 07:48 UTC in reply to "My needs"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"But I need my embedded POWERPOINT slides
with the embedded Visio Diagrams

AND

I need the dancing elephants next to the title and the Animated Flashing WordArt. "


Sorry, but you're missing the most important things, things nobody can live without!

You'll need:
- interactive squeaking buttons flying around
- embedded "Flash" plugins
- sound files (playing more than 5 files simultaneously)
- the newest DOC files, containing a ZIPped PPT presentation with a RAR archive included, which contains a video that is to be played at startup
- fonts that you cannot read from distance
- no margins
- colours, colours, colours
- content to be loaded from the Internet dynamically
- more dancing puppies, birdies, kitties and other cute animals to make the project appealing to everyone, because everyone loves cute animals
- more moving, floating, transparent, overlapping, blinking, flashing, beeping and squeaking text.

And don't forget to encrypt your project, forgetting the password afterwards. And hope all spectators suffer from ADHD. :-)

Reply Score: 3

EasiWriter
by dmck on Tue 27th Feb 2007 22:13 UTC
dmck
Member since:
2006-11-02

Hmm, this package seems to do much what EasiWriter does on RISCOS http://www.iconsupport.demon.co.uk/Products/EasiWriter/EasiWriter_p...

Reply Score: 1

As a DTP vet I have a question.
by snozzberry on Tue 27th Feb 2007 22:30 UTC
snozzberry
Member since:
2005-11-14

Outside the ability to easily generate graphics within the same environment as a word processor, what does this do that InDesign/Quark/Scribus doesn't?

Reply Score: 1

jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know if you do much work with mathematics, but editing mathematics is easier with Lyx than with any word processor or desktop publisher I've ever used. It interfaces quite nicely with LaTeX, which sits on top of TeX, whose whole purpose was so Donald Knuth could write his textbooks on computer science (and he typed a lot of mathematics in the process).

Reply Score: 1

Nice tool
by Tron on Tue 27th Feb 2007 23:55 UTC
Tron
Member since:
2005-07-07

My girlfriend wrote a college-level biology paper with Lyx. She got an A and the comment "nice formatting." Enough said...

Browser: Opera/9.00 (Nintendo Wii; U; ; 1309-9; en)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Nice tool
by fretinator on Wed 28th Feb 2007 14:38 UTC in reply to "Nice tool"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

[Off Topic Warning]

I admit it, I gave this person a +1 for surfing the web on a Nintendo WII. Way to go!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Nice tool
by sbenitezb on Wed 28th Feb 2007 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice tool"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

[Off Topic Warning]

I admit it, I gave this person a +1 for surfing the web on a Nintendo WII. Way to go!


Some people just scare me.

Browser: Firefox/4.00 (Sinclair ZX Spectrum; es)

Edited 2007-02-28 17:28

Reply Score: 2

gehersh
Member since:
2006-01-03

As I understand, one of the *big* advantages of LaTeX (and TeX, this is where "what you mean is what you get" originates, not in Lyx) is to get away of all those pull-down menus, GUI crap, etc, and instead you just type exactly what you want. So if I want to have an character 'theta', instead of fishing for a pull-down menu, then selecting theta from the pallette of greek letters, then realizing that the font does not quite match, bitching, etc, I simply type theta, and if I need to adjust the font I do it on a fly. Now LyX provides not-so-complete and often-clumsy GUI front-end to LaTeX. So we're back to GUI. I simply don't see any sense in that thing.

(using MikTeX and Emacs/AUCTEX for many years, mostly to typeset math papers)

Reply Score: 1

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"As I understand, one of the *big* advantages of LaTeX (and TeX, this is where "what you mean is what you get" originates, not in Lyx) is to get away of all those pull-down menus, GUI crap, etc, and instead you just type exactly what you want. So if I want to have an character 'theta', instead of fishing for a pull-down menu, then selecting theta from the pallette of greek letters, then realizing that the font does not quite match, bitching, etc, I simply type theta, and if I need to adjust the font I do it on a fly. Now LyX provides not-so-complete and often-clumsy GUI front-end to LaTeX. So we're back to GUI. I simply don't see any sense in that thing."

GUI tools are more appealing to beginners who want to learn something about typesetting instead of just toying around. LyX teaches the concepts of document structure and the ability to concentrate on content, not on form (because form is implied by structure).

The GUI is good for learnung, for the case that you do not exactly know what you're searching for. So you can try around and have something like WYSIWYG.

Sooner or later, users will say: "Uh, LyX is quite nice, but I want more control, and I don't think I'll need the GUI anymore." Then they switch to "real" LaTeX and - wow! - the LaTeX concepts are known to them. Some also examine the LyX generated files and get a clue what LaTeX is about. Users who are familiar with HTML (a well known markup language) do not encounter serious problems using LaTeX's macro conventions in order to bring structure to their content. It's even not hard for programmers.

I had the following observations: People tend to think they need to increase font size, set bold attributes and have the chapter number in mind when they say: "I need a new heading here.", instead of just typing the heading's name and typesetting it "heading n'th degree" (chapter heading, section heading, subsection heading etc). LyX helps to learn how easy it can be.

Another concept is the use of a "partitioned document", say, having chapters shared in different files. Wen we did a 3 person project at university, we used this technique along with CVS for submitting changes. Each person was working on a different file, but they all fitted together well, including references and all this "complicated" stuff.

Reply Score: 4

jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

As I understand, one of the *big* advantages of LaTeX (and TeX, this is where "what you mean is what you get" originates, not in Lyx) is to get away of all those pull-down menus, GUI crap, etc, and instead you just type exactly what you want.

You have your chronology quite backwards. Both TeX and LaTeX appeared before the Mac, and before X even, so computer scientists were still using vi and emacs on terminals. So TeX was certainly not designed for this, and it's not an advantage at all, especially if you ever try to read some of the files associated with TeX. Cryptic, uncommented code and a bizarre choice of variable names, etc. are the order of the day. (AMSTeX, I'm talking about you.) Lyx isn't going "back" to the GUI, it's providing one for LaTeX.

So if I want to have an character 'theta', instead of fishing for a pull-down menu, then selecting theta from the pallette of greek letters...

If you want the character for theta in Lyx, just type enter math mode (CTRL-M or CTRL-Shift-M if you want math display mode), type theta and the spacebar, and the theta character appears. If you type thea by accident, the non-appearance of the Greek character makes it immediately clear that you mistyped it, unlike in a text editor. If you have preview.sty installed, the latest versions of Lyx will even show you what the math will look like on paper, including macro expansion, equation numbering, and so forth. You can ask Lyx to display toolbars of commonly used commands, so you don't have to type and retype left[right] or even more fun left{right} (don't forget the backslash before those braces!!!), but press one button and the delimiters just appear[/i], in math mode no less (in case you weren't already in math mode).

Edit: Case in point, OSNews doesn't pass the necessary braces through, although I typed them.

Edited 2007-02-28 16:00

Reply Score: 1