[TUHS] eqn

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[1] and neateqn?
> Neateqn uses TeX's algorithm for typesetting mathematical formulas.[2]
> Here is an example: http://litcave.rudi.ir/neateqndemo.pdf
> [1] http://litcave.rudi.ir/neatroff.pdf
> [2] http://litcave.rudi.ir/neateqn.pdf

I have tried these and I have been in touch with the author.  He was 
very helpful.

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 
knowning LaTeX.

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.[1]

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 
output well.

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.)


[1] 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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