LaTeX, MS Word, asking questions, LyX (was Re: [OS X TeX] 1/2" margins)
simon at simifilm.ch
Fri Oct 13 03:38:25 EDT 2006
On 13.10.2006, at 09:28, Bruno Voisin wrote:
> Le 13 oct. 06 à 08:43, Simon Spiegel a écrit :
>> It's probably true that I got sidetracked by your Word comparison,
>> but then I must confess I don't understand what this LaTeX light
>> is supposed to do.
> To Alain: sorry for having let you defend my opinion on your own, I
> was a bit busy.
> What I meant is that I consider a waste of time and developers'
> energy, for example, to have two (and possibly more) packages
> memoir and koma-script for complex document structure, several
> packages in addition to beamer for slides preparation, and so forth.
> The LaTeX 2e team made an excellent job, for example, of replacing
> the several pre-existing packages for EPS figure inclusion
> (epsf.tex, psfig, boxedeps, epsfig, possibly others I'm forgetting)
> by the LaTeX graphics package, characterized by:
> - Being an integral part of LaTeX, in the "latex/required" CTAN
> - A minimal set of commands, and a short and to-the-point
> documentation written using the docstrip package.
> - Full compatibility with core LaTeX, as defined by the content of
> the "latex/base" directory.
> My dream is that all the additional packages --- probably most of
> which described in the LaTeX Companion 2nd edn --- considered to be
> part of the standard experience of a nowaday's LaTeX user are
> applied the same process.
> For example, if geometry is considered the standard modern way of
> defining page layout in LaTeX --- as opposed to redefining
> \textwidth etc. as I have done until now ---, then:
> - Its commands should be reduced --- if necessary --- to a minimal
> functional set.
> - Their working and naming --- if necessary --- should be put in
> line with those in core LaTeX.
> - All incompatibilities --- if any --- should be resolved.
> - The documentation --- if necessary --- should be reduced so as to
> contain all the information necessary for operating the package but
> nothing more.
> - Finally the package should be moved to latex/required.
> hyperref, for example, is not part of latex/required yet, but it
> seems the unique de-facto standard for HTML and PDF production in
> LaTeX, and one can consider the above process has already been
> applied to it.
> Similarly for complex document structure: pick one and only one of
> memoir, koma-script and all the possible other packages that offer
> this functionality. Which one: I don't care, provided the above
> process is applied to it. I prefer to work around the limitations,
> if any, of a package included in standard LaTeX and fully
> coordinated with all the other components of this standard LaTeX,
> rather than have to shop around for an additional package to be
> chosen among several possibilities and not as coordinated with the
> Again it's a matter of time spent to accomplish a particular task:
> without this step of looking for an additional package, you are
> able to spend more time using LaTeX, and less time learning and
> configuring it.
Maybe I'm just splitting hairs, but IMO this is not LaTeX light, but
just a more organised LaTeX world. Most of the things you listed are,
AFAICS, really just a question of organizing, standardizing and
distributing things (which is difficult enough) and not of coming up
with some kind of new LaTeX variant.
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"I have never been certain that the moral of the Icarus myth is, as
is generally accepted, 'don't fly too high', or whether it might also
be thought of as: 'forget about the wax and feathers, and do a better
job on the wings." Stanley Kubrick
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