[rescue] In defence of TeX/LaTeX - Re: [off-topic] What was this markup language?
john at jfloren.net
Tue Dec 8 12:22:17 CST 2015
On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 11:17 AM, Toby Thain <toby at telegraphics.com.au> wrote:
> On 2015-12-08 12:09 PM, microcode at zoho.com wrote:
>> On Tue, Dec 08, 2015 at 04:59:35PM +0100, Liam Proven wrote:
>>> On 8 December 2015 at 14:14, <microcode at zoho.com> wrote:
>>>> Next question, other than LaTeX, are there any good choices in simple
>>>> languages suitable for writing letters and resumes, etc.? I'm not really
>>>> happy with Open/Libre Office nor the direction it's going in. I'd like
>>>> look into some alternative where the input stays as ASCII text.
>>> Can't get on with it myself but some do.
>> Agreed. The last thing I want is another editor dependency. The whole
>> is about being able to keep stuff in ASCII text and be able to get at it
>> from anything that reads ASCII and not depend on GUI stuff.
>> And at this point I am probably too old to start learning LaTeX and would
>> not use it enough to justify the hair-pulling.
> Eh, it's not that bad, actually - certainly the most practical typographic
> markup I've seen in 30 years. It also has dozens of good tutorial and
> reference books.
> Of course it all depends what you're doing. If you have anything
> mathematical or slightly non trivial formatting, or anything that would
> benefit from a macro system, then likely it is a win over Word. (My only
> problem with TeX/LaTeX is the font family CMR, but that's another story... I
> used TeX daily with PostScript fonts for several years around 1990.)
> Of course the input format is ASCII so it meets your
> accessibility/archiveability bar, and is also ideal for version control.
I've often found that getting a LaTeX document to compile on two
different systems can be an exercise in frustration. It makes
nice-looking documents, though, when it's not spitting out inscrutable
errors because something in your stack of macros-on-macros has
troff is nice and simple, but your source file can very quickly end up
almost unreadable, especially if you're writing a man page.
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