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Re: enriched-mode and switching major modes.

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: enriched-mode and switching major modes.
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 21:18:18 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:

> You're trying to strike a balance between WYSIWYG and plain text.
>> The benefit is that you do this while looking at the "surface
>> expression".
> With something like WhyzzyTeX I get to edit while seeing (rather
> than "looking at") the surface expression.

I find that this does not work for most creative work (except
fine-tuning the page layout), and there are several reasons for that:
the fonts that are used are intended for printing, not the screen.
They have visual cues that help for reading at about 600dpi (at that
resolution, the hairlines of cm fonts get fine enough not to disturb
the leading character of the thicker serifs).  The screen can't render
that, and antialiasing, while correcting the worst grey level sins,
muddies things up at those resolutions.  As a result, creating text
with TeX fonts interactively is a pain.  For running text, I much
prefer my 10x20 high contrast, 100dpi-hand-designed pixel font.

But while I am creating text, I want to be able to focus my eyes on
the text I am entering, not vascillating between text entry and
typeset window.  I want to be able to focus on one cursor entry

That's what preview-latex <URL:http://preview-latex.sourceforge.net>
provides me with: terminal fonts where I am interested in the text,
antialiased WYSIWYG where I am interested in more complex compositions
like math formulas, graphs and similar stuff, where the input
representation is so far from the represented content that thinking
about the content without visual translation becomes difficult.

preview-latex just works on-demand.  In contrast X-Symbol
<URL:http://x-symbol.sourceforge.net> works automatically and the deep
representation \pm is replaces by ± the moment that I type a space or
otherwise create a separate token.  From that time on, the character
in the buffer really _is_ ± and not the token \pm.  The conversion to
tokens is only done when the file is saved or read in.  This way of
working is inherently dangerous: when things go wrong, your whole file
may be en/decoded in some weird coding.  Also doing isearch for \pm
will not work.  With preview-latex, which still has a separate deep
representation underlying the graphics, it will.

The fine lines when you want to work with deep and surface
representation will be different from application to application.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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