psutton
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Anyone using LaTeX

Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:00 pm

Hi

Just wondered if anyone was using LaTeX on the Pi, to create documents with formatting for maths and science. I have been learning LaTeX and have used this for some of my Open University course work a few years ago but keep finding new and useful ideas for document formatting and improving the layout etc.

As LaTeX and R seem to be able to integrate together the pi could make a good platform for writing documents. More useful as the both use plain text so the document can be edited on a wider range of devices that have text editors.

Maybe R and LaTeX could be added to code club learning resources. I know a few YP already using LaTeX.

Just a thought

Paul Sutton

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scruss
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX

Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:18 pm

Yes, I do. The full system is quite a chunky download, but if you stick with pdfxelatex/pdfxetex you get a nice Unicode-aware system.
‘Remember the Golden Rule of Selling: “Do not resort to violence.”’ — McGlashan.

ejolson
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX

Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:05 am

psutton wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:00 pm
I know a few YP already using LaTeX.
What is YP?

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buja
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX

Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:00 am

YP: Young People?

psutton
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX

Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:58 am

Would it be worth me trying to write some basic code club resources for this. I think what would be needed is worksheets to get something up and running but quickly, so that users can, produce something in a short space of time. Additional work sheets can build on what is produced

so a basic documetn could be

Preamble
Title page
header and footers
chapters and sections

Things like

Preamble
Title page
header and footers
table of contents
chapters
bibliography / citations
cross references

then as we are STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) related we then add

Simple maths (Will leave the more complex maths type setting to the experts)
Simple Chemistry formulae, equation formatting

Once the basic structure is there, then the community can perhaps add more, if there are any R experts out there then they could contribute stuff too.

LaTeX can do some really neat stuff, I was thinking also as code club use trinket for python and Html, we could perhaps suggest using overleaf for LaTeX, as that would save installing but should still work via a browser on a Raspberry Pi 3. (I will try and check at some point)

Happy to make a start on this,.

Paul

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scruss
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX

Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:40 pm

LyX may have stolen all of LaTeX's appeal. Markup languages might be a hard sell these days.
‘Remember the Golden Rule of Selling: “Do not resort to violence.”’ — McGlashan.

ejolson
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX

Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:17 pm

scruss wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:40 pm
LyX may have stolen all of LaTeX's appeal. Markup languages might be a hard sell these days.
For me one advantage of LaTeX is as a standard used for the submission of research manuscripts to science journals and the arXiv preprint server. Another advantage is that I can use the same text editor for creating LaTeX documents that I use for programming, so there is no learning curve or loss of productivity when switching between tasks. LaTeX is also suitable for scripting when you need to create an automatically generated report.

Does LyX use LaTeX behind the scenes or is it an independent code base?

If a person uses a computer for only one thing, it may not make much difference, but if a person uses a computer for many different things, it can be very helpful to learn general purpose tools with transferable skills that make many different tasks easier at once.

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scruss
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX

Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:04 am

Yes, LyX is a front-end to LaTeX.
‘Remember the Golden Rule of Selling: “Do not resort to violence.”’ — McGlashan.

psutton
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX - LyX comments.

Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:41 pm

LyX is a nice package / front end, you can add specific LaTeX code using ERT boxes. However I have gone back to LaTeX with TeX Studio but have stared to use overleaf which is web based, has all the packages built iin with the website and also allows collaboration and cloud storage. So great for logging in from anywhere.

One of the advantages of Latex ( and I think its main selling point ) is that the files are plain text, so anyone who knows LaTeX can easily open any file with the extension .tex and edit it in their favourite text editor. That editor can also be console based, as in no gui required, so better for if you need to ssh in to a remote computer and just tweak something.

With LyX both parties need the LyX editor and in some cases the same version to avoid issues. So you gain advantages of the easier to use front end, but lose some of the advantages of the files being in a more open format.

There is room for both, sometimes I find that LyX gets in the way trying to help me.

Paul

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scruss
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX

Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:38 pm

The major downside of TeX is the sheer size of the installation. I remember when the late Sebastian Rahtz announced TeX Live as a way of distributing a very useful TeX installation on one CD. It's now a couple of gigabytes.
‘Remember the Golden Rule of Selling: “Do not resort to violence.”’ — McGlashan.

ejolson
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX

Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:55 pm

scruss wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:38 pm
The major downside of TeX is the sheer size of the installation. I remember when the late Sebastian Rahtz announced TeX Live as a way of distributing a very useful TeX installation on one CD. It's now a couple of gigabytes.
The Klingon and Elvish fonts use too much space.

I remember running a version of plain TeX that included a quick previewer for the Hercules graphics card on an original IBM PC with a 20MB hard disk and 576K of RAM. It ran surprisingly well. There were also versions of LaTeX that used overlays for that same machine but the edit, format, preview cycle was too slow for me.

One advantage of using plain-text files is that this allows for easy processing by standard tools including git, diff, sed, grep and ispell. At the same time, just like C serves as a backend for other compilers because it is suitable and programmers are already familiar with it, so TeX serves as a backend for many printing and automatic report generating facilities because it is suitable and people who use it are already familiar with it. Creating mouse interfaces in front of it is tempting, but results in fewer people learning a general tool that can be useful for many other things. Using a mouse interface is also much slower compared to an experienced typist using vi.

As I get older I also appreciate more and more the visual advantage of being able to edit my documents in an xterm with a large font compared to squinting at a what-you-see-is-what-you-get representation of the printed page. At the same time, having a previewer open while editing in the xterm allows me to verify the formatting is reasonable.

It is also worth mentioning that reading a paragraph in the editor where the line breaks occur in grammatically logical places and then rereading the same paragraph after it has been flowed to fill up the margins on a sheet of paper allow many people to catch errors that they otherwise wouldn't.

I guess everyone has different needs and preferences.

psutton
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Re: Anyone using LaTeX

Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:01 pm

Further to mentioning that I am working on something. This is what I have so far

https://github.com/zleap/latex_tutor/bl ... tex1.md.md

( sorry about the filename ending in md.md that could be me, getting used to the Stackedit.io and github integration.)

This gives a basic introduction from a non expert view point. (or at least that is my intention here)

One of my suggestions it to perhaps see if we can integrate this in to code club or similar so people can learn how to create a basic document.

Hope this helps.

Paul

If this is useful I can share on my LinkedIn profile in due course.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/zleap/

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