U'll Be King of the Stars
ullbeking at andrewnesbit.org
Sat Oct 5 01:52:29 AEST 2019
On 04/10/2019 15:57, aksr wrote:
> Have you tried (heard of) neatroff and neateqn?
> Neateqn uses TeX's algorithm for typesetting mathematical formulas.
> Here is an example: http://litcave.rudi.ir/neateqndemo.pdf
>  http://litcave.rudi.ir/neatroff.pdf
>  http://litcave.rudi.ir/neateqn.pdf
I have tried these and I have been in touch with the author. He was
One thing that surprised me during our discussions was the revelation
that Groff is (apparently) optimized for authoring man pages. I am
personally interested in *roff as a typesetting system for technical
documentatio in general.
I do agree with the other folk/s in this thread who have said that
learning La/TeX is _much_ more advantageous as a _practical_ tool for
writing maths and CS manuscripts.
I spent about 20 years buried in LaTeX during the academic phase of my
life. I don't miss it now but there was no way to collaborate and
publish using a typesetting setting other than LaTeX because nothing
else has that kind of commonality.
My field was signal processing, especially as applied to multimedia:
music and audio specifically. I would not have been able to write my
PhD dissertation or write _any_ journal/conference articles without
One thing that helped significantly is that I am an Emacs user. This
comes with AUCTeX mode, which, when set up properly, makes LaTeX
tolerable for me.
I now have the freedom to choose *roff for presentational markup for
personal technical documentation. I have also joined a project that
uses DocBook for semantic markup.
But when one needs to collaborate in academia, and if one wants to
minimize friction when communicating, then LaTeX (or sometimes even MS
Word) is the standard that one's colleagues in maths, CS, and software
engineering will use. Don't be "that person" who causes friction
unnecessarily; there are plenty more important hills to die on.
One tool I *highly* recommend learning well is Pandoc. This is
wonderful for translating between markup formats and even rendering
When I would send end-of-week updates to managers, I would often convert
new documentation that was contained within a restricted repository to
PDF format and attach that to my email updates as well.
(Just in case there were permissions issues. For example, corporate
enterprise firewalls are notoriously difficult to make connections
through. They can make the documents even more difficult to access from
their upstream repositories, and nobody want to be messing around with
these kinds of permissions issues on a Friday afternoon.)
 LaTeX is excellent compared to Markdown. You can build a career on
top of it but not on top of Markdown. I don't even consider MD a proper
markup format, aside from the simplest cases such as writing
introductory README.md files. The only thing that La/TeX and MD have in
common for me is that they are both intolerable without Emacs modes
(AUCTeX and markdown-down.el).
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