LyX Development News

The best laid plans of mice and men...

After gloating about meeting the deadline for July's issue of LDN I got snowed under with a dozen different problems and still haven't quite resurfaced from the downfall. As a result this issue is somewhat smaller than previous editions.

Some excellent news though is that José Matos, author of LyX's DocBook support, has volunteered himself to help with LDN. Starting with this issue José will be collecting together tips and links to interesting threads from the LyX developers and users mailing lists. Thanks José.

Quote of the Month

I found he_Intro.lyx in my lyxdoc directory. But it's not in CVS. Did someone send it to me to check in, only I forgot to? Or did someone send it to me to look at, but it's not finished yet.

Apologies for being an idiot. But hey, it's Friday, so if noone else is going to insult me, I'll just insult myself!

Amir Karger

This is just pure flame bait but since it was posted on a Friday nobody responded!

Photos: Lights. Camera. Action!

José and I have finally got some of our photographs from the Fourth International LyX Developers Meeting up on the web. With three computers upstairs and one downstairs the development team split along regional lines. Everyone from the northern hemisphere was upstairs.


And I was downstairs.


We did get together ;-)

all upstairs

On more than one occasion.

upstairs again

The culprits are from left to right:

Allan, Asger, Jürgen, José and Lars.

all together

Click on the pictures to go to the photo galleries. (Every second picture is José's)

Press Coverage: LyX in the News

LyX is being used as a reference that other word-processors and documentation systems are compared to. Sometimes to define what a new system is trying to offer and sometimes as a benchmark product. Brave GNU World writes when refering to e:doc:

At the first sight, e:doc [8] by Thomas Schmickl looks a bit like a "Mini-Lyx" which is a graphical user interface for the LaTeX layout system. But it is much more.

Rob Thomas made a passing reference to LyX in his article at

The office and word processor market has always been critical to the success of most computer platforms, as most users use these applications more than any other. Unfortunately, when adventurous Linux users were trying out the alternative operating system on their desktop workstations for the first time, the lack of anything easier to use than the arcane LyX typesetting system was a real disadvantage. However, since then many groups of people, both corporations and free software developers, have been working hard to deliver useable word processing solutions to Linux.

He seems to be referring to LyX-0.10.7 or earlier given the "However, since then..." statement. LyX-0.10.7 will be five years old shortly and LyX has come a long way during that time. If you haven't looked at LyX since those early days take a look at the latest releases and then you can update your impressions of the yardstick other free word processors are compared against. It's also interesting to note that he never says what's wrong with LyX.

Then again maybe he just doesn't understand the LyX philosophy the way Rico Sanchez does when he wrote for

I heard a voice, as if in a dream: "Let me show you a simpler land, where ideas are free to be written, free from the shallow concerns of appearance, free from the shackles of the typesetter. Trust Lyx. Everything will be all right in the end."

Sceptical? Yeah, I was too. Then I tried Lyx and I realized that this is a much saner way to work than traditional word processing, especially for larger documents.


Instead of designing documents in a manner which maximizes the technology of the computer, word processors keep things more "intuitive". The result: more work for the same output. Wow, I've only used Lyx for a week now, and already I'm sounding like a novitiate in the cult. Only it wasn't sleep deprivation that got me; it was a quality product.


Rating: Four a half stars (out of five).

There is an interview with Matthias Ettrich, founder of both LyX and KDE, in Linux Gazette When asked about his involvement with LyX Matthias replied in part:

Regarding KLyX, Kalle Dalheimer and I eventually want to do another port of LyX to KDE 2.0, based on the newest LyX code. If we do that, it will happen together with the LyX Team and the result will be integrated into the LyX source repository. But nothing has been decided yet.

A port to KDE-1.1.2 is currently in the works and a KDE-2.0 port would be most welcome.

LyX-Devel: Development Tips

Some tips from the LyX Development List

LyX-User: Tips

Useful tips and tricks gathered from LyX-Users since last LDN:

Steffen Evers scripts

math stuff

PDF generation

Example of LyX at work

187 pages of math notes on the web created with LyX and xfig.


The mystery of the lost platypus

LaTeX tricks

Before asking any question in the mailing list please remember RTFHLT (Read the Fine Herbert's LyX Tips). This has proved to be a valuable resource for many people.


Q: How to place the footnotes at the end of the document?

A: Use the endnotes latex package.

Holy War?: File->New...

Anyone who read the menu cleanup threads from July's issue will have noticed the very long discussion about how the File->New and File->Open menu entries should operate. This then spawned an arguement about creating new files with no intervening dialog boxes to ask you for file names or templates.

Jürgen Vigna has since made the necessary changes so you can have unnamed documents in LyX. This just speeds up creating new documents. You are prompted for a filename when you try to save the file, instead of when you first create it, as was the previous practice. This prompted another long debate. The bugs and quirks are almost gone now.

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