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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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 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 Parent Score: 2