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Re: [Texmacs-dev] Experiences from extensive usage

From: Joris van der Hoeven
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] Experiences from extensive usage
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 20:17:28 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Dear Norbert,

Thank you very much for your detailed comments.
I am not currently working on these parts of TeXmacs now,
but I will keep these points in mind when coming back to those points.

Only 4 would be relatively easy to implement, but it is not completely
clear to me how to deal with the multiparagraph stuff in tables,
so I will have to think more about it. Notice that "return" also moves
to the first column, contrary to A-down.

Best wishes, Joris

On Tue, Jun 28, 2005 at 12:24:02PM +0200, Norbert Nemec wrote:
> over the past few weeks I have been using TeXmacs extensively for
> preparing slides for an important talk. From that, I gathered a number
> of experiences that i would like to share. Several of these things have
> probably been discussed before. Still several weeks of power-usage might
> put them into a new perspective.
> First, the general impression:
> TeXmacs definitely is fit for demanding production use. There is room
> for improvement in details, but apart from that, TeXmacs definitely is a
> mature environment to do real work.
> Now as for the several aspects where I see room for improvement:
> 1) Positioning of elements
> preparing slides means arranging pictures, text, formulas and graphical
> elements onto a page. For this it would be a huge improvement to have
> floating elements that can be freely positioned on the page using the
> mouse. What I imagine is a floating box element that is anchored
> somewhere in the text, has a position either relative to the anchor
> itself, contains arbitrary multiparagraph content and can be moved and
> resized freely by mouse. It should be simply layered on top or below the
> other content without influencing the flow of other elements.
> 2) Indication of table layout with by viewing "grid lines"
> When moving through a document with the cursor, you always nicely see
> the light cyan or purple lines of text regions that you have entered. I
> would propose one simple but extremely helpful extension to this:
> When entering a table with the cursor, there should not only be a solid
> line around the whole table, but a grid of dashed lines between all the
> cells of this table.
> 3) Behavior of multiparagraph content in table cells
> lacking a way to freely position elements, I instead used tables to do
> the page layout, making extensive use of multiparagraph cells.
> Unfortunately, multiparagraph text in a cell is limited to compared to
> regular text in several respects:
> * you cannot align individual paragraphs (left, right, centered, block)
> with respect to the width of the cell
> * elements that usually span the paragraph width (like equation, hrule
> or sub-tables set to span paragraph width) do not adjust to the width of
> the surrounding cell but still have the full width of the page.
> 4) Pressing <return> inside a table cell
> Currently, when you press <return> inside a regular (not
> multi-paragraph) cell, it does the same as <Alt>-<down>. Instead, I
> would propose to make it automatically convert the cell to
> multi-paragraph and work within the cell. Maybe, this is a matter of
> taste, but for my working habits, this would make a lot of sense: why do
> you need two different key-combinations for creating new rows? Why
> should you dig through menus to make cells multi-paragraph? (Or is there
> another simple way to switch a cell to multi-paragraph that I missed?)
> 5) adding markup for multiple paragraphs
> Do the following:
> * mark a single word
> * press <backslash>
> * type "bf"
> * press <return>
> This works perfectly not only for "bf" but many other kinds of markup
> (also "with" and others)
> Now try this:
> * mark two consecutive paragraphs
> * press <backslash>
> -> the marking is ignored!!!
> Why doesn't this very convenient way of adding markup work for more than
> one paragraph?
> ------------------
> So much for now. There were other points as well, but the most important
> things are said.
> Greetings, and thanks again for creating TeXmacs. It really worked great
> for me, and I can only hope that this report may help improving it even
> further.
> Norbert

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