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[Texmacs-dev] Three specific suggestions for the TeXmacs community

From: Darcy Shen
Subject: [Texmacs-dev] Three specific suggestions for the TeXmacs community
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2020 16:25:56 +0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.6.0

From 2017-10-06 to now, I have committed 144 times for the texmacs/plugins sub-project.

Currently, there is a vague separator between the TeXmacs core and the TeXmacs community.

I suggest that we should make the core part and community part of TeXmacs clear. And make it easier for new TeXmacs developers to join our community.

Here are some specific suggestions:

## Suggestion 1: Entrance for the plugins

The Plug-ins is under the bottom part of http://www.texmacs.org/tmweb/home/welcome.en.html, and it points to a guide for writing plug-ins.

I think we should improve the accessibility of the Plug-ins entrance, for example, a link labeled "Plug-ins" should be put at the top of the website (the right side of "Learn").

And it should points to the list of existing plugins for TeXmacs: http://www.texmacs.org/tmweb/plugins/plugins.en.html

## Suggestion 2: Plugins: Official support and community driven

Official support plugins should be distributed within TeXmacs and community driven plugins should be removed out of TeXmacs.

It is disappointing to find a plugin with documentation but not functional, or find a working plugin but without any documentation.

Which plugins should be official supported:

1. Easy to maintain, eg. Macaulay 2: we actually launch the `M2 --texmacs` command

2. Math, eg. Maxima and Octave: as far as I know some people only use TeXmacs as a nice interface for Maxima

3. Graphics, eg. Gnuplot, Asymptote, Graphviz: TeXmacs depends on Gnuplot for plotting

4. REPL, eg. Python/Scheme: Python is a popular scripting language and pre-installed for most GNU/Linux

Which plugins should be community driven:

1. Plugins for commercial softwares: Matlab, Mathematics, Maple, ...

2. Non-scripting language REPLs: It would be complicated to package it if it is platform-dependent. And to support, we need extra steps to build the plugins when distributing TeXmacs.

3. More rules to be added.

## Suggestion 3: An official discourse forum

Last year, I set up the forum (http://forum.texmacs.cn/) in about 4 hours. And for now, there are 61 users now.

I sugguest that we should migrate the forum to https://forum.texmacs.org . I am afraid that politics (or others) prejudice may make people away for the forum.

A discourse forum would be more user-friendly and search engine friendly.

I think there is no conflict on the mail list and the forum. It is a good idea to make the mail list and forum share the same topics, but it is no urgent.

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