[ILUG] LaTeX training
blf at blf.utvinternet.ie
Wed Nov 29 22:21:41 GMT 2006
| From: Brendan Halpin <brendan.halpin at ul.ie>
| Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 18:22:38 +0000
| "Liam McDermott" <theirishmole at gmail.com> writes:
| > Often Latex editors will only accept pics files in eps format, and
| > trying to manually format pages is a pain in the hole.
I've no idea what either “Latex editors“ or “pics files“
are, and “manually formatting pages” has me puzzled as
well, so I leave this one to Brendon ....
| Newer developments make some of this out of date. pdflatex and
| geometry.sty for instance.
| > I think you need a fair bit of tech knowledge to use it though,
yes and no. for the no, as an example, the canonical
documentation “LaTeX User's Guide and Reference Manual”
(Leslie Lamport, 2nd Edition, Addison-Wesley,
ISBN 0 201 52983 1) does not assume much tech. knowledge
( Dr Lamport is LaTeX's authour; and the famous Dr Knuth
is TeX's authour. Dr Knuth's “TeXbook” is perhaps not
too appropriate for this particular situation? )
OTOH, the vast support network (e.g., CTAN (Comprehensive
TeX Archive Network)) is, at best, barely mentioned,
so if yer're not aware of it, you may give up in
frustration or else reinvent the wheel (slowly and,
probably, badly with even more frustration).
| Absolutely. A good learning curve (i.e. it keeps paying off).
| > its
| > closer to web programming/html than most people will be used to.
I have no idea what “what most people are used to“,
much less what the target audience is used to — but
that quibble aside, there is a point here: (La)TeX
is (or at least should be used in a fashion similar
to) a semantic markup language, similar to better
HTML, n\troff, et al. (and very unlike most(? all?)
WYSIAYG's (What You See Is All You Get)).
| That is not a bad thing.
| > Its
| > not out of the box easy to use. I think any training will spend a lot
| > of time getting people to be able to do anything with it, let alone
| > using advanced features.
not necessarily. following the intro to the above,
or to other works such as “LaTeX Line by Line” (Antoni
Diller, Wiley, 2nd Edition, ISBN 0 471 97918 X), or to
one of the several tutorials mentioned in the (La)TeX FAQ
( http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?introduction=yes )
can get a reasonable intelligent person going rather
quickly. not as a macro designer, but as a package
user, which — in this case — is probably rather more
the difference is that, unlike many WYSIAYG's, you
cannot simply start. you _have_ to do a bit of
reading or attend a course first. this is not an
issue in this case, since yer planning on doing a
course anyways (even for WWWYSIAYG (World's Worse
| True, but the GUI WP world depends on being newbie-friendly (and
| therefore apparently user-friendly), so it's easy to start doing
| stuff but hard to do complex orderly stuff.
finally, there are some WYS...-ish programs for
LaTeX, such as lyx(1), and LaTeX text editors,
such as `kile'. I used to use `lyx', and still
find `kile' of some use, but nowadays just do
what most(?) LaTeXers do (normal editor plus
either texi2dvi(1) &tc or else pdflatex(1)).
Experienced (20+ yrs) kernel/software Eng: | Brian Foster Montpellier,
• Unix, embedded, &tc; • Linux; • doc; | blf at utvinternet.ie FRANCE
• IDL, automated testing, process, &tc. | Stop E$$o (ExxonMobile)!
Résumé (CV) http://www.blf.utvinternet.ie | http://www.stopesso.com
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