Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
When doing documents using general-purpose word-processing software like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org Writer, you are capable of doing just about every formatting you’d feel like and add just the type of content you would like, where you like. These editors are fine for most purposes and they are indeed often quite powerful yet easy to use. Also doing math and physics in such editors is surely fine, because these applications are for most uses very easy and intuitive and also rather fast to work with. With all this freedom, people tend to format documents, sometimes a lot, even though it’s just basic content, instead of relying on the default settings because, hey, they’re just dull. Having to even consider how to format a document, is what LyX is all not about!
LyX calls itself a WYSIWYM-editor (What You See Is What You Mean) which will get explained further below, while OpenOffice.org Writer and Microsoft Word are WYSIWYG-editors (What You See Is What You Get).
The thing is that most documents do not need all this styling and formatting. In fact, wouldn’t it be nice to always just get right to the content? Wouldn’t it be right if the default styling and formatting were just plain and beauty, and wouldn’t it be nice with an editor built for equations and formulas? LyX is giving the powerful LaTeX-suite a user friendly and intuitive interface.