[TUHS] eqn

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Sat Oct 5 05:02:07 AEST 2019

My complaint with LaTex et al is that it is escape based.  Roff wants
stuff to start at the beginning of the line.  Which mean Roff input will
version control *dramatically* better which leads to better collaboration.

My kid already knows Latex, I'd like him to try roff.

On Fri, Oct 04, 2019 at 04:52:29PM +0100, U'll Be King of the Stars wrote:
> 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.)
> Andrew
> [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).
> -- 
> OpenPGP key: EB28 0338 28B7 19DA DAB0  B193 D21D 996E 883B E5B9

Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 

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