Sorry, Ulrike, for the late response.
Ulrike Fischer schrieb:
> am Donnerstag, 16. Juli 2009 um 10:47 schrieb Simon Siemens:
>>> Do you really think your students are so dump or so afraid that they
>>> won't be able to manage this?
>> Yes, I do. It's only partly a question of ability but more a question of
> Find someone else to make the course. You can't teach people when you
> don't have some trust in their ability and will to learn. The students
> will feel your lack of faith and this will undermine their
> self-confidence or their will. They will also get the impression that
> LaTeX is so difficult that only the bests can handle it without help.
Apparently, my answer above was too categorical and provoking. I like
teaching and the evaluation of my course is above the faculty mean. And
I do have confidence in what my students do for me.
But, neither me nor a couple of my colleagues like long installation
instructions. So, why should students like them? More considerations
>>> Have a bit more faith. Even if they need two attempts to get it
>>> right -- they will learn it as they have learned all the other
>>> things they can do with their computer.
>> Most of them would be able to do so. But they will feel that LaTeX is
>> very uncomfortable and maybe switch back to Word. Switching to LaTeX
>> means jumping many hurdles. And as it is with hurdles, if they are to
>> many, one might not take this hard way but an easier way. Thus, my
>> intention is, to reduce as many hurdles as possible.
> This hurdle is so low that students who let themselves discourage by
> it will never be able to handle LaTeX anyway.
> Also most people don't mind hurdles as long as the hurdles aren't to
> high to pass. In contrary people like to see that they are capable to
> solve problems and handle things. One of the first things children
> learn to speak are "I want to do this myself". And the best way to
> destroy them is to tell them that they shouldn't try because it is too
I think, people have only a limited amount of resources for work
(energy, time, etc.). I would like that my students spend them on
writing good texts, not on installing software. LaTeX helps them to
write good texts, so I recommend (not force) them to learn LaTeX. In my
opinion, these are enough new software things. So, if it is possible,
I'd like to offer them an installation that is as simple as possible.
Best regards, Simon