Feb 27, 2021Liked by Sam Ritchie

Do you know about TeXmacs? It's an structured interactive scientific text processor developed in Scheme. I wrote my undergrad and master thesis on it. It is not web native, but it is multiplatform, has support for fluent math writing, beautiful typeset/math rendering, computer algebra systems and visualization. Worth to check it.

More detailed comments on your work later.

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Offray, I had NOT actually seen TeXmacs! What a beautiful project... and, in fact, it looks like it wouldn't be a terribly difficult job to build out a plugin for the computer algebra system I've been building to implement the ideas I discuss on this newsletter: https://github.com/sicmutils/sicmutils

Lots of building lately, not much writing. I'm hoping to switch that up in the coming weeks, and maybe give you more to comment on. Thank you for the note!

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There is still an issue with the TeXmacs "modularity of writings", like in Roam, Obsidian, TiddlyWiki, according to your view for a more learnable environment (which I share). The things I have written in TeXmacs go from thesis, to small student exams, but not smaller.

Despite that, TeXmacs has support for smaller environments (theorems, axioms, definitions and so on) but usually you combine them in a bigger document, instead of the modularity provided by, let's say, TiddlyWiki or a Zettelkasten, for that matter.

Maybe the Obsian/Wiki approach of links pointing to future content could work in TeXmacs, with a script that recognizes such links and creates smallish files behind in a fluent way for the writer/reader.

Anyway, TeXmacs is a pleasure to write for mathematicians and exact science writers and to develop for a Lisper.

Regarding me, after starting in late 90's with TeXmacs and translating a good part of its Manual to Spanish, I'm more in the Smalltalk/Pharo front right now, developing my own writing and PKM tools there. But programming language considerations apart (and for me Lisp and Smalltalk have similar spirits), I have enjoyed reading your "Road to Reality" posts, and I think that there is a lot of overlapping interest regarding modularity, computers as cognitive tools to approach complexity, learnable environments, among others. I will post more reading notes on other infrastructures like my own personal bliki and in the discussions of the GitHub repository and will share them with you in a more "modular" matter ;-).


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