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You are currently reading a thread in /g/ - Technology

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/g, what is LaTeX even about? Unnecessary to learn?
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>>52381150
Bretty gud for scientific papers/documentations.
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It makes your math look so good that no one will dare question you
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>>52381150
What >>52381183


And if you learn how to use it and start being comfortable with it, you'll realize just how much easier and faster you can churn good looking papers.
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>>52381150
Word is much easier to use, no reason to use LaTeX unless you are autistic about typesetting and you want to use 1000% more time on your documents instead of doing real work.
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It's an ancient markup language, similar to HTML, that lets you create fancy papers for school.
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>>52381316
This. No reason to use it today other than autism.
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>>52381316
TeX is the language, LaTeX is a bunch of extra nice macros for that syntactic sugar written in TeX.
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It grants you the power to create the most beautiful type of documents in the universe.
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>>52381319
What are the alternatives?
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>>52381348
LaTeX has no rival, pleb.
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>>52381368
I know. I wanna know that faggot's opinion.
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>>52381302
>faggot that hasn't ever written a scientific paper confirmed
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Typesetting, making things look nice, it's free so there's not much to hate.

There's also things like pandoc which can take markdown or whatever format and convert it to the appropriate Latex markup if you want. I've done this a number of times since it's usually easier for smaller things.
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>>52381302
Equations produced by word look like crap. Also it's much more time consuming to search menus for equation insertion than to just write $$.
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>>52381410
Chemists and pharmaceuts use Word and they make more than mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists.
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>>52381302
Idiot, word is cancer. Tex does all the stuff for you.
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>>52381432
>Chemists and pharmaceuts
That's because they are too dumb.
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>>52381150
its pretty af and makes ur math look amazing.
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>>52381432
>Chemists and pharmaceuts use Word
Maybe those who graduate from crappy places... I certainly don't.
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OP here, I'll think about giving it a shot when it's nice to create scientific documents.
But since I've got mixed platforms on my Hardware (Windows & Debian based distros), is it good in crossing the platform barrier?
Not like MS Word which I like, but yeah Microsoft.
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>>52381432
>Chemists and pharmaceuts
da fuck?
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>>52381481
Yes, it has editors for every major OS.
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>not having resume in some superior latex layout
Enjoy being unemployed
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>>52381432
Your sample size has to be bigger than one if you want to make such bold statements. Also, type pic related in Word, then come back and tell me how Word is "easier".
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>>52381432

yeah no
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>>52381517
V/c = Mnxn(C)

:^)
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>>52381481
It has editors if you need them for Win/OSX/Linux, obviously there's also installations that you can install for all of them too. You can write latex with any text editor though.

If you're on Windows there's Miktex.
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>>52381517
>>52381553
#REKT
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LaTeX advocates need to find ways to make LaTeX more accessible, not find new ways to condescend to non-LaTeX users.
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>>52381960
> find ways to make LaTeX more accessible
Pandoc and Markdown already exist tho.
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>>52381971
Markdown doesn't really handle complex citations very well (and it certainly doesn't output the references sections properly unless you hard-code it yourself), and Pandoc relies on some understanding of one language that's expressive enough to output to another. Markdown->LaTeX would require enough extra markup to get things like citations working that your time would be better spent learning LaTeX itself.

Although I agree that if you're writing things like documentation or something, then you should be doing it in Markdown. It has the affordances you need (linking, code blocks, syntax highlighting), some of which even LaTeX struggles a bit with (there might be packages for code blocks and syntax highlighting, but it can't be as straightforward as Markdown's setup).

I can't imagine a scenario where someone could afford to be a purist. I use all of {Word, Markdown, Google Docs, LaTeX} at least once in a given month.
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>>52381960
What about LyX?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LyX
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>>52381368
Sadly. TeX is utter shit, but the best we have.
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>>52381481
User overleaf.
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>>52382021
My understanding of LyX is that its primary contribution is being a graphical user interface on top of what's mostly LaTeX (with a few extra things).

So the problems are two things:
1) LaTeX with all of its packages has such excellent coverage of every need I can think of that the notion of a superset language seems like a joke. You may argue that there are too many packages (it's like a fucking jungle out there), but mercifully once you get a sense of how to search for LaTeX help you'll start to develop a sense of what packages are (good|maintained|trustworthy) and what packages are (written by some Russian teenager|dead|???).

2) I *loathe* systems and platforms that impose a GUI on me. I put a lot of time into making Sublime Text and Vim look and work the way I want, and I'm not particularly inclined to spend an hour getting the 80% of overlapping characteristics (font family, font size, etc...) all consistent with my Sublime Text or Vim setups (since ostensibly those are the setups I want to work with).

I'm not saying I'm purely CLI all the time, but if I have the option between two candidates, the imposition of a GUI is not just a tiebreaker for me (although I wouldn't call it a trump feature or whatever).

All this being said, if you're learning LyX and using the GUI they provide, I wouldn't personally be a snob about it. You're basically learning LaTeX and if you figure you want to move onto the reservation at some point, great. And if not, that's fine too.

The thing that matters (to me, anyway) is that you're able to generate thoughtful, good writing without getting hung up on stupid details like finding an em-dash somewhere on the internet so you can copy/paste it because the keyboard combination MS Word demands is incomprehensible. Similarly, if you're spending 30% of your time making sure your citations are in ACM format, then you're not optimizing for thoughtful writing.
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>>52381960
http://www.texstudio.org/

The beauty of Latex is you can use any text editor to work with it. You don't need to know much to make documents in it to begin with.
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>>52382112
>is being a graphical user interface on top of what's mostly LaTeX
Yeah, hence making LaTeX more accessible to the plebs. I'm particularly fond of things that have a workable GUI, but where you can peel that layer off and achieve all the functionality from the command line if you want. I'm thinking of switching over to something like it for all my non-trivial, non-programming needs and just importing/exporting any msword stuff.
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>>52382146
augh, I had something written up, but then accidentally navigated away and lost the text. I was going to say that a lot of LaTeX starter guides impose a very steep learning curve on new users because there's a lot of boilerplate that just looks intimidating as fuck, so even if you put yourself in a mindset of wanting to learn you have to put that aside for a bit and get past the boilerplate (at least until you have a vague sense of what you're doing within the document itself).

I've heard good things about the ShareLaTeX support documents, but I'm not knowledgeable about pedagogy or anything - all I know is that LaTeX is intimidating at first and the big hurdle is making it less so for people on their first pass (if at all possible).
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>>52382217
I think most people teach themselves LaTeX by learning from colleagues and their source to be honest.

The TeX itself is intuitive and google can fill in any gaps.

I've never read a single one of those freetard manuals and I sincerely believe I'm better off for it. I don't want to waste a week of my life learning how a typesetter works.
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>>52382271
That's fair, but there's a reason LaTeX is so niche and it's worth thinking about why that is. If only autodidacts can ever pick up LaTeX and everyone else is stuck out in the cold, that's not necessarily a good thing (we could have a whole debate about whether we want people to learn how to write with LaTeX but I suspect the values would distill to the same values around whether we want people to learn how to code).

As an aside, I recently needed to use the Tikz documentation (which is apparently TikZ and PGF combined) and it's honest to fucking god 880 pages. I understand that it serves as a comprehensive reference, but that's the kind of intimidating stuff that knocks the wind out of people's excitement to learn about these things right out of the gate.
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>>52382324
That which is preinstalled shall always proliferate.

I'll give this law the creative name of The Preinstall Principle.
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>>52381348
Microsoft Word
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>>52381150
It's good for rendering formulas and chess moves and bad for everything else.
It literally only still exists because there is no other somewhat free, capable tool for rendering formulas.
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Does anyone know how to compile LaTeX documents in Vim? I've been using Texmaker for some time now, but I'd really like to use my favourite text editor.
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>>52381150
It's a versionable, open, predictable typesetting language that's far easier to use than troff.
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>>52381960
I was going to taunt about the Mac OS X and Google Chrome user praising for accessible stuff, but that would've pulled the discussion down.

Archlinux user here, so my opinion may be elitist. If so I'm sorry.

LaTeX is really accessible, besides the error handling. As it's free software, you can do anything you want with it as long as whether a document class exists for it or that you would create one.

And I don't think computers should be accessible.

First of all, personal computer, I mean computer for a personal use and not for work or studies or in an in real life social purpose, is a meme. My life won't be any better after I become a top-ranked Counter Strike player or after I listen to this Spotify track for the 384th time.

This definition is, from my opinion, so exhaustive it proves Facebook is a nonsense (besides studies or work or in an in real life social purpose. You should try to recall the last time you've used Facebook with friends without setting a sphere between your friends and you).

Secondly there is a huge gap between the way average people see programs and how they are made.

People should just see some bash code and realize this is exactly what computers are made of, and that on the millions, if not billions, of code lines their computers are made of only 10 of them can impact their credit score.

People only need computers because it's what everyone else blindly uses, so teachers, CEO, banks consider you have no right to refuse their cloud ecosystem, hosted with by their friends at Google (to whom I'd like to be a ribosome to fuck up their DNA, and eventually bring them cancer). This would eventually lead to leak you've got a drugs addiction, but you should feel lucky to have the opportunity of getting a decent wage you little shit.
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>>52384760
* hosted with <3 by their friends at Google.

Third time I try to post this correctly. Damn it…
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>>52381150
It makes your math look great and save you tons of time when you write longer texts. Lots of automatic stuff, like references, table of contents, numbered equations, numbered figures, tables and so on. Even if you change your references around or your pictures around or even your chapters, sections, subsections and so on everything like table of contents and stuff is updated automatically. For example if you have a bunch of numbered equations eq1 = 1, eq2=2, eq3=3 and refer to one of them like eq2 it will show up as "equation 2" or whatever you want. and if you add a equation in front of that: eq0=1, eq1 = 2, eq2=3, eq3=4, it will automatically update the reference to "equation 3".

This and tons of other stuff saves you tons of time when writing a longer text and you can focus on writing the text instead of remembering everywhere you reference something and change them one by one.

Here is the beginners guide that I used https://www.sharelatex.com/blog/latex-guides/beginners-tutorial.html

Currently writing my master thesis in it.
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>>52384592
:! pdflatex filename
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>>52384817
I see, but what about error detection and such?
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>>52384837
It works the same way it normally does.
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>>52384855
I'll look into it, thanks.
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>>52382021
the problem with lyx is that you do not get the power you get from actually doing everything from the bottom up. Latex is not very difficult to learn. Lyx might be frustrating as fuck because you can't do shit outside of the most common stuff. I used Lyx at first and it made me dislike LaTex and I did not see the point of it other than a word clone with better looking math, then I went the pure normal route and used code and I love it. It is not difficult to learn... It might look a bit intimidating, but it is not in fact difficult, there is no reason to use something like Lyx.
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>>52384869
In case you aren't aware, :! lets you run commands from within vim.
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>>52381150
>Unnecessary

Not too long ago I read a mathematical paper in number theory. The author was a PhD student who probably tought of himself as a very serious person. I read the introduction and he introduces the set of equations he is going to work with and when the time comes for the real meat of the proof...

I was a fucking png made in paint with really hideous drawings of numbers and equations.

There should be no excuse. If you ever plan on publishing something that is not a plaintext document you must use latex.
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>>52384837
You could probably do something with setting :make up (:set makeprg=pdflatex\ %) but you'll need to add certain flags to pdflatex that stop it from entering its own interactive mode. That will pop up a pane in Vim with the output of pdflatex (presumably your errors)

Consider installing vim-dispatch to get a :Make command that runs in the background instead of having vim block while it waits for :make
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>>52384909
Yes, I'm aware. I just thought I needed to install some nifty plugin, but this would too of course.
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>>52384932
>png made in paint
>PhD student
WHY?
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>>52384932
I'm so sorry for this student. I almost feel the pain of pasting the mathematical formulas, one symbol after each other.

It's non-ironically terrible.
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>>52384979
I'm an idiot undergrad who actually failed the first class he had to do which involves proofs and even I could grok LaTeX...
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>>52385007
Me too. I've always done my shit in LaTeX. How the fuck do you make it as far as a PhD student without even touching LaTeX?
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>>52384934
Related: https://gist.github.com/ajh17/a8f5f194079818b99199
Also vim-latex plugin a shit
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Word is much better than LaTeX which there is no reason to use in 2016.
That is if you want to write a birthday party invitation for an 8 year old.
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>>52381348
Matlab publishing :^)
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Speaking as a scientist.

Journals don't want latex documents.
Those who accept it don't want you to spend any effort on formatting the document, they use their own shit anyways.

Your colleagues will not be using latex. Collaborations will always be done in Word.

And thats about it. Latex is neat to know for your own projects but don't expect it to be useful for your career.
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There is nothing to learn.
If you need to write down a lot of equations, then the math syntax is worth learning, but everything else is just learning that "\" starts a command and {} and [] is used for functions and options.
Writing a document might be a bit difficult the first few times, but there is nothing to learn.
After a dozen papers, you write latex more efficiently than you would on word.

And dealing with text files makes it so much easier to share, collaborate and edit as you are not locked down to a single tool.

All the special setups are almost always unnecessary and stuff like tikz is not what people did with word anyway.
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LaTeX is da shit. I cannot believe that you went to university/college and graduated in a respectable discipline without knowing LaTeX.

I mean how long is your bachelor thesis? 40 pages and two sources? kek.
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>>52385182
Speaking as a mathematician.

Every journal wants latex documents.

Your colleagues will be using latex.
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>>52385182
Speaking as a plumber.

You should network harder.
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>>52385182
>>52385335
depends what kind of scientist are you

if u are something like cs,math, or similar, latex is good to know

everywhere else they use word
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>>52385389
Pretty much.

I tried writing reports in LaTeX and sending my PI (grad student in chem), but he eventually realized that I was sending him PDFs and told me to send him word documents.

Fucking fuck.
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>>52385470
similar happened to me. send my thesis (pdf and tex file) to lector (for lectorship) and he tells me to send him word file. DAFUQ
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>>52385470
>>52385564
>sending tex files to people
Holy shit the autism...
If they are not writing the document, why should they ever see the tex files?
Most journals accept tex files but they want to rebuild your stuff and then you are not allowed to add a lot of packages so they can do so.
And getting a bibtex for citation is never hard.
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>>52385822
>sending pdf and tex files to people you collaborate with
Yeah how ridiculous.
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>>52385851
>lector
>people you collaborate with
I am so sorry I don't see the connection.
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>>52385822
why do they need word file then?
to easily correct mistakes man lol, they could do similar in tex
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>>52385182
>Speaking as a scientist.
A crappy scientist by the sounds of it.
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LateX for reports / papers / whatever
Pandoc for letters / notes / documentation

pic related, just compiled 4 months of lecture notes into 15 pages of nicely structured PDF with pandoc.
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>>52385182
>Word
>Science
Either business or irrelevant >muh social and language "science"
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