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Re: Emacs as word processor

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Emacs as word processor
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 14:06:45 +0900

Richard Stallman writes:

 > I have occasionally used LibreOffice, and that sort fo WYSIWYG
 > editing is very convenient for things that don't need the power of
 > TeX.

Richard, you really need to specify what features "that sort of WYSIWYG"
is composed of.

The issue is that most people want something like LibreOffice so that
they can do what other people do with Microsoft Word, including exchange
files.  That level of compatibility is a boatload of work.  On the other
hand, everybody I know who uses Emacs at least once a day prefers AUCTeX
+ LaTeX (with appropriate styles) for one-off documents like simple
letters.  LaTeX simply does a far better job of formatting without fear
of having the program take away your options than any WYSIWYG I've ever
seen, and AUCTeX takes almost all the pain out of entering TeX format
macros, while offering reasonably nice previews with preview-latex.  (If
you use an older TeX-mode it may be more painful.)

So I suspect that (a) the number of people who want this and (b) the
number of actual use-cases are quite small.

 > However, every time I am unhappy that (1) it is missing all the other
 > capabilities of Emacs and (2) it is incompatible with Emacs.  I would
 > really like to be able to use Emacs to do this WYSIWYG editing.

You may be the only one....

Finally, those who hate WYSIWYG on principle have a point.  In this day
and age, "accessibility" is not merely politically correct, it's both
achievable and beautiful (at least in the hands of the kind of artisan
who contributes to CSS Zen Garden).  What it isn't is WYSIWYG whenever
the two Ys refer to different yous (author vs. viewer).



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