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Where we stand

Well, those are all pretty good arguments, and it looks like you've got
me outnumbered, three votes to one.  And my heart is certainly not set
on using TeX -- I've used Scribe for the past eight years, though I've
been meaning to move over to TeX for the last two of those years.  It
seems clear to me that the final document is going to be done in TeX,
since it is the least obnoxious formatting system that is available on
just about every machine, but I guess we can hire some semi-technical
coolie to format the document and do an index at the end.

In my view, pretending to pass around chunks of the manual in English,
but carefully adhering to some set of conventions that can be
machine-translated into TeX (or whatever), would be more of a
distraction than writing in a real formatting language in the first
place.  If it's going to be English, let's just use any natural language
conventions that we all understand.  Bawden can say -potato- and I can
say POTATO, and if both forms find their way into the evolving manual,
the guy who does the final formatting can sort it all out into TeX.

Let me suggest the following: If we start from scratch, we'll write the
manual in something like plain English and add the formatting, whatever
it is, at the end.  If we start with either the Steele book or the Lucid
book (both of which are now in TeX, I believe), and if the editing is
mostly done here at CMU, I want to reserve the right to continue in TeX
rather than scraping it all away, making changes, and having to add it
all back in at the end.  But if we go that way, we'll run the document
through TeX whenever changes are made and create a plain-English file
 from it.  We can have our discussions in terms of the English version,
people writing proposed changes can use English, and you'll never have
to know that I'm keeping things in TeX behind your backs.

Since you offer, I would prefer not to see those â??F's, and I'll try not
to use @i[...] too much.  I'm tempted to propose that we also agree
never to go over 80-columns, even when responding to nested mail
messages, because the wraparaound is infinitely more distracting to me
than any possible text-formatting garbage.  But if I proposed that you'd
all taunt me for not hacking my mail on a -REAL- machine.

-- Scott