Textures in SDL 1.3

unfortunately I haven’t had much time to explore the new 1.3 source yet, but I just got a bit confused by what I’ve gathered.
I will have to work with both textures and surfaces (that are used to create the texture), textures can’t be rendered on each other, but have built-in scaling functions.
Am I misunderstanding the new approach? Am I missing the true benefits of it?

another thing that i have not grasped, do the following statements hold?
sw surface = streaming texture
hw surface = static texture

I’d also like to point out that in the forum registration form the confirmation email field is shorter thatn the email field: I couldn’t fit in my current email in the confirmation field, I had to use an old one.
thanks in advance for the time spent reading, bye!