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Submission + - Extended TeX: past, present, and future (latex-community.org) 1

Hamburg writes: Frank Mittelbach, member of the LaTeX Project and LaTeX3 developer, reviews significant issues of TeX raised already 20 years ago. Today he evaluates which issues are solved, and which still remain open and why.
Examples issues are managing consecutive hyphens, rivers of vertical spaces and identical words across lines, grid-based design, weighed hyphenation points, and overcoming the the mouth/stomach separation. Modern engines such as pdfTeX, XeTeX and LuaTeX are considered in regard to solutions of important problems in typesetting.


4chan Declares War On Snow 201

With all the recent hacktivism in the news, Anonymous has decided to take on a new and powerful enemy: snow. On Sunday the group announced that it will "do everything in its power to shut snow down by attacking the Weather Channel and North Face websites, boycotting outerwear, and voting for the sun as Time’s 2010 Person Of The Year." I'm sure there are a lot of people in Minneapolis right now that would wish them luck.

Comment Re:Adoption Stories and Influences (Score 1) 310

The "window of opportunity" for the alternative OS was closing no later than Win 3.1.

So you think Microsoft and Apple are the final-for-all-time winners, and there will never be alternatives to the offerings of those two companies that will hold significant (or, dare I say, dominant) market share on future computing platforms? That is what your statements are saying. Wow. You may want to either reconsider your view of the future or use a few less absolutes in your messages.

Comment Re:Inkscape is great (Score 1) 225

Whoosh!! Totally missing the point. My comments had nothing to do with how many "bugs" you may have reported. (From your comments, I'm not convinced that you know the difference between a bug and a personal preference.) Sorry to see that you're unable to accept the fact that other people have used many other tools and *choose/prefer* interfaces that you don't. You think that's because people don't know any better?! Wow. Guess this conversation is over. Sounds like my attempt at enlightenment is getting under your skin a bit when you have to resort to swearing.

Since you sound like you plan to continue using Inkscape with its "awful" interface, I'll leave you in this unfortunate predicament you've chosen for yourself. Hopefully, you'll figure out how to better express yourself. First you say Inkscape is not "useless" and that you, in fact, use it. Then you say, "No way any program, no matter how great the usability in Linux, can be usable in Windows or OS X." Hmm.

Comment Re:Inkscape is great (Score 1) 225

That's your opinion, and you're welcome to it. In my opinion, the interface is fine -- not significantly better or worse the the UI for competing applications, both proprietary and open source.

My point is that when people use words like "awful" and "sucks" when describing tools that actually do get the job done (even for those people), it tends to come across like bitching and moaning rather than useful input. What lies lower than "awful" on your scale of quality adjectives? You might want to think about this if you want to be taken seriously instead of being seen as a whiner who's unable to adapt to minor differences in tools (or life's changes).

I realize you're by no means the only person that uses such descriptions, but do you really want to continue to be lumped in with other extremists, fanboys, and whiners?

Sorry for coming across so harsh on Thanksgiving Day, but thought you should know how your continued use of extremes is interpreted. Have a good day!

Comment Re:Inkscape is great (Score 1) 225

I suggest you waste no more of your time on it. It's apparent that it doesn't satisfy your needs or expectations.

The rest of us can form our own opinions. Personally, I appreciate and use Inkscape occasionally, and am happy to see its continued development.

Comment Re:The closed circle (Score 1) 225

There is something to be said for working with the guy who is building a business. The bathrooms are clean and the dishes have been washed. The doors open at seven and close at nine as predictably as the rising and setting of the sun.

Wow, you live in some sort of business Utopia! Based on my lifetime interactions with various retail/service-oriented businesses, I come out pleasantly surprised if I get an experience even close to the image your presenting above. On the other hand, I often have good experiences working with volunteer organizations. Maybe that's partly because volunteers are offering their time because they enjoy helping with the particular task, whereas the primary motivator of paid employees is often the paycheck.

When it comes to software development, there is usually much less chance for user input and interaction with the developer(s) of commercial packages than open source packages. So your opinion depends at least partly on whether you consider yourself simply a consumer or a partner/contributor. Nothing wrong with either viewpoint.

Of course, neither type of entity is a guarantee of good products or services, but I certainly don't agree with your opinion that people generally receive better results when paying than when not.

Comment Re:Where does this leave GIMP? (Score 1) 900

All of my comments are based on user-type use and not code/API use, though I am a developer.

Then you should know better than to be making such ridiculous comments. There is no correlation between code quality and application functionality, aesthetics, or usability.

Comment Re:Where does this leave GIMP? (Score 1) 900

Too powerful for normal users, too limited for power users.

Image editing is still way behind Windows and Mac OSX, where you have Photoshop for power users and also Paint Shop Pro for less power users, but who still like a full image editing suite.

And despite your opinion, many, many people have been happily using tools such as the GIMP for image editing on Linux platforms for well over a decade. Many (myself included) have come from a background of using Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop, so we're familiar with the tools that you claim are so much more capable. Your comment may apply to the statistical outliers at either end of the skill/needs spectrum, but the Open Source image editing tools are more than adequate for the majority of users.

Comment Re:Not so fast there, kid. (Score 1) 932

This assumes your family doesn't have a ten to fifteen year investment in Windows hardware, software, and peripherals.

The peripheral can be anything from a multifunction printer to an embroidery machine or an Orion telescope.

Heh, you're really reaching here! Those cases are the outliers, not the norm. At least in my circle of family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances, I'm not aware of anyone running 10-year-old multifunction printers or embroidery machines. I do have a couple of friends with Orion telescopes, but that wouldn't stop them from dual booting into Windows when they want to use the associated software. But if dual booting or using a virtual machine wasn't an option, I would understand if the 5% or less of the Windows-using population that you're referring to just wanted to stick with Windows.

I prefer to stick to discussing the largest segment of the home computer-using population for topics such as this.

Comment Re:Professionalism (Score 1) 1231

I guess we have had much different experiences. I've been using Linux for at least as long as you (started in '93) and have had no significant problems in the last 5 years or so. I've set up dozens of friends, relatives, and coworkers with various Linux distros, all of them coming from a Windows background (and looking for something different because of various problems with Windows). Other than coworkers, practically none of them are overly computer savvy and none of them had Linux/Unix experience. Except for the occasional assist with a distribution upgrade or help identifying and installing an app for a particular purpose, I rarely get calls for help from any of them after the first month or so on Linux. And I'm no light computer user. I do plenty of multimedia creation and editing (audio and video) as well as software development, etc.. As you say, "I could go on." ;)

Sorry to hear that you've had such poor experiences with Linux.

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