## LaTeX forum ⇒ LyX ⇒ Why LyX?

Information and discussion about LyX, a WYSIWYM editor, available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X systems.
Bala
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:06 am

### Re: Why LyX?

I like lyx because it natively supports unicode.

It seems to be the only editor out there for latex that can handle Hindi properly.

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timd
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:45 pm
With tipa i can write very unusual symbols. i'm not talking about the plain phonetic script used in english dictionaries, but about letters with hooks, curls, bars, circles, dots, bridges etc under or above them, glottal stops, modified m, n, d, etc symbols. i don't see how lyx would handle these things. i think i'd end up writing source code anyway. if that's not true, convince me of the opposite

I'm afraid that was my experience with Lyx when trying to do some work in Old English so returned to emacs, a trusty friend in need indeed!!!

Otherwise I think Lyx is not a bad editor at all, it's just that I started with Vim and never really progressed beyond the keyboard. Somebody elsewhere said that a PC without a mouse is not worth bothering with - well I use my mouse so little it is now covered in a film of dust sat on top of my desktop pc.

It's all a matter of personal preference at the end of the day and whichever editor you use you will be producing better looking work than any MS product.

Maksi
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:12 pm
Stefanie wrote:absolutely true. i really don't know how lyx integrates with certain packages - cgloss4e and tipa, for example. With tipa i can write very unusual symbols. i'm not talking about the plain phonetic script used in english dictionaries, but about letters with hooks, curls, bars, circles, dots, bridges etc under or above them, glottal stops, modified m, n, d, etc symbols. i don't see how lyx would handle these things. i think i'd end up writing source code anyway. if that's not true, convince me of the opposite

Loading extra packages can all be done in the preamble. And as for special characters, I for myself tend to use a Unicode encoding and simply type the characters with the help of various keyboard layouts which I can do very easily on OS X and I guess on other platforms as well (well, I could imagine it being a bit of a hassle in Windows as simply everything towards standardization is a hassle in Windows). Then, I compile my LyX documents with XeTeX, this requires that the fonts I use offer all needed characters (e.g. Gentium, which unfortunately does not have many typographic features yet but still looks nice).

However, LyX is in constant development and the new version will bring a nice looking special characters-dialogue which should make it even easier to fill in any desired special characters. (Developed by a linguist, by the way) And I know, what you are talking of, since I often have to write (scientific) Arabic transliteration, which features a lot of modified symbols, glottal stops and so forth.
A Humanities user of LaTeX :)

monamipierrot
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:01 pm
sveioen wrote:Hello all.

I just have a kind of question regarding LyX; why would you use it? I thought the whole consept of LaTeX was based on the "not-WYSIWYG" idea.

I havent tried it much though, so dont shoot me!

I think this is a common misunderstanding for not-LyX users. What do we mean with WYSIWYG or WYSIWYM?* Is plain LaTeX WYSIWYM? Do you really mean "Hello \emph{everybody}" when you type it? If you answer "YES!", then I can tell that perhaps you meant "1-0-0-0-1-1-0-1-1-0-0-0..." which is the true binary essence of that ASCII string, when it stays in the RAM of your laptop.
This is a paradox to help understand another thing. Please don't mix-up CONTENT with CODE. Of course code is linked with content, but I think LyX is perfect because it give a REPRESNTATION of what you mean (the CONTENT), which could differ from what you will se with final layout. SEPARATE content and form. Give two different forms: one for WHAT YOU MEAN, and one for the PAPER layout. Some LaTeX users are so familiar with all that \{$^ that they could start thinking with those symbols. But remember, IT'S THOSE SYMBOLS which are trying to represent your thought, and the fact it is the BEST EXISTING WAY doesn't mean it is the BEST POSSIBLE. This could sound obvious for people for whom LaTeX wasn't designed from the beginning, such as people who write in different languages than english, or in non-scientific, humanities-like disciplines... and I think many "common" users still don't get it! I think in a not far future non-english LyX users will burst LyX to grow faster than LaTeX and in some way override it. This, of course, IMO... Regards, a proud LyX user * IMO the problem with Word (and friends) is summarized by the achronim WYSIAYG (what you see is ALL you get) i.e. working on final form is not worth it. But working on rough code is not always THE solution! H. Windows XP professional sp3 LyX 1.6.1 My current docs defaults: Koma-script Book with package biblatex; LilyPond for music examples PGScooter Posts: 31 Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:47 pm I agree that LyX should try to make it easy to switch between manual editing and LyX editing. Last time I tried to use it, it put so much unnecessary "junk" in the source code.. its the same gripe I have with Dreamweaver. I would think that a linux application would be free from self-promotion and try to support the all types of people, even those that do not want to be dependent on the program. Of course, instead of complaining, I should go and help program this feature into LyX; but alas, I simply do not have the programming knowledge porky_pig_jr Posts: 16 Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:36 pm sveioen wrote:Hello all. I just have a kind of question regarding LyX; why would you use it? I thought the whole consept of LaTeX was based on the "not-WYSIWYG" idea. I havent tried it much though, so dont shoot me! I guess the learning curve for plain LaTeX may be a bit too steep for some people. Of course, once you sort of half-way through that curve, you don't really need LyX anymore. I find, say, typing$\alpha$is quicker than looking for pull down menu with lower case greek alphabet, then choosing alpha from there. Well, I guess some people prefer pull down menus. God bless their souls. I've never used LyX, but browsed through documentation a few times, the last time only recently when I've learned it was finally ported to Windows. I may try it just an editor with capability of instantly displaying what you've just typed (and yet I wonder how it would treat user-defined macros and embedded postscript code). skibum1981 Posts: 4 Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:03 am LyX is still faster than LaTeX EVEN IF you know LaTeX, at least for me. I agree that writing$\alpha\$ is faster than pulling it down from some table, but you can write this in LyX as well; you can use virtually all of the LaTeX commands that you know and love, and some shortcuts too. Plus, you can also create keyboard shortcuts for just about everything. I prefer it to LaTeX quite a bit.

However, LyX has its problems. The number one problem is the whole .layout and .module concept. There's such a vast array of resources in terms of .cls files and .sty files on the internet, and unfortunately it seems you have to recode a lot of this stuff into a .layout file to create the environments within LyX, which is frankly just annoying. They need to come up with an easy, thoughtless way of importing cls and sty files.... without having to create the same environments in the layout file (i.e., rewrite the entire cls file for viewing within LyX, essentially).

Also, I agree it'd be better of LyX allowed you to run in either WYSIWYM mode or LaTeX editing mode. That'd be quite nice....

lalop
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:25 pm
I'm trying (offhand) to learn lyx and see whether it may be more appropriate for at least some start-users.

What I noticed is that lyx has a learning curve of its own. With latex, if you were proficient with googling, you can do stuff in practically any editor and only need to memorize a few, if any, drop-down commands. With lyx, drop-down becomes a pain in the ass.

I can't imagine why humanities students (like that person on the first page) would find lyx more convenient. With no math, all you have to do is find a good style, and learn about 5 commands, like \section(*){}, \subsection(*){}, \emph{}, \textbf{}, \cite{}, thebibilography, use these commands in your main document, and the rest is text. If, for some reason, you need a symbol which you don't know, use:

http://detexify.kirelabs.org/classify.html

And I can't imagine how learning lyx is easier than learning these few commands (not to mention your class may not even need a bibilography at first).

The only big problem they might have is finding a good style, and I would concentrate on finding one for them and making slight modifications to it, because I've become proficient with that stuff.

skibum1981
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:03 am
lalop wrote:I'm trying (offhand) to learn lyx and see whether it may be more appropriate for at least some start-users.

What I noticed is that lyx has a learning curve of its own. With latex, if you were proficient with googling, you can do stuff in practically any editor and only need to memorize a few, if any, drop-down commands. With lyx, drop-down becomes a pain in the ass.

I can't imagine why humanities students (like that person on the first page) would find lyx more convenient. With no math, all you have to do is find a good style, and learn about 5 commands, like \section(*){}, \subsection(*){}, \emph{}, \textbf{}, \cite{}, thebibilography, use these commands in your main document, and the rest is text. If, for some reason, you need a symbol which you don't know, use:

http://detexify.kirelabs.org/classify.html

And I can't imagine how learning lyx is easier than learning these few commands (not to mention your class may not even need a bibilography at first).

The only big problem they might have is finding a good style, and I would concentrate on finding one for them and making slight modifications to it, because I've become proficient with that stuff.

Have you become proficient enough to reply to my post regarding a layout for problem sets?

lalop
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:25 pm
skibum1981 wrote:Have you become proficient enough to reply to my post regarding a layout for problem sets?

I know basically nothing about lyx's .layouts. I was talking about the preamble code on top of the actual .tex content (which is able to determine just about everything of use to a humanities student).

In general, when basically everything has already been done for you except the content, this is precisely when lyx gets less useful and more annoying.

In your case, the only way I know how to do it in lyx is to write out your problems pretending that it's a normal class, export as a tex file, then make the appropriate preamble modifications to the tex file (make it look like the template they give you). Only then can you run it. On the bright side, assuming the lyx code is solid, this is not error-prone. Personally, I would just use latex to modify the template file; much easier.