[OS X TeX] rotating vs landscape in two-sided documents

Simon Spiegel simon at simifilm.ch
Sun Feb 11 13:53:49 EST 2007

On 11.02.2007, at 19:45, Bruno Voisin wrote:

> Le 11 févr. 07 à 18:38, Chabot Denis a écrit :
>> Well, thanks to the help of many people here, my report is almost  
>> complete and I am very happy with the result, although I hope  
>> future reports will allow me to concentrate on content and not on  
>> formatting, one advantage of using LaTeX that was not achieved for  
>> this particular document...
> That is an advantage I have never seen achieved in practice. LaTeX  
> is so insistent on imposing a specific formatting, and it may be so  
> inconvenient to use at times (think for example of having to  
> combine longtable, multline, array and \multicolumn in order to  
> write a midly complicated table), that in my experience using LaTeX  
> means spending more time formatting and less time writing.
> More specifically, LaTeX is nice when you are using a dedicated  
> package yielding exactly the desired formatting (for example a  
> journal-specific class), and/or when you document contains a lot of  
> maths.
> But when you want to write a memo or report, say, and the standard  
> article, report or book classes do not meet your needs exactly,  
> then you'll spend an awful lot of time interrupting your workflow  
> to deal with some formatting issues, look for some style to  
> accomplish a specific task, search a FAQ, post to a mailing list,  
> and so forth. In those cases I find it more efficient and stress- 
> free to use a WYSIWYG word processor (Pages in my case). The output  
> will possibly be less typographically correct, but it will be  
> achieved more easily, and it will be possible to devote more  
> attention to the matter at hand without having constantly to  
> interrupt the thinking for dealing with some formatting issue; it  
> will also be easier to start writing the document without having a  
> clear idea of its content or presentation, and then reorganize  
> matter, move things around, add columns in table, switch columns,  
> and so forth.
> I know this is probably a controversial issue on an OS X TeX list,  
> but in my opinion (from 15 years or so of intensive TeX use),  
> however convenient it may be for maths writing or for using a  
> predefined style, LaTeX has failed spectacularly in its aim to  
> allow users to concentrate on writing and free them from  
> formatting. In this respect plain TeX was more flexible.

It really depends on what you plan to write. For an occasional letter  
or a document you only use once, LaTeX certainly is far from ideal.  
But for a thesis where you spend several years writing the time for  
formatting is well spend IMO.


Dr. des. Simon Spiegel

Seminar für Filmwissenschaft
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CH-8032 Zürich
+41 44 634 35 37

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