[texhax] syllabus (fwd)

Philip G. Ratcliffe philipratcliffe at tiscali.it
Fri Oct 1 14:53:18 CEST 2004

Just to add to Robin's remarks (with which I whole-heartedly agree), as one
example (among many) I use the "beamer" package for presentations.  Now I'd
consider myself pretty well up on TeX and LaTeX (I wrote my own citation and
cross-referencing macros in TeX long before the advent of LaTeX).  However,
to sit down from scratch and do anything even vaguely resembling what I got
out of beamer after a few minutes playing with the examples would take an
absolute age.  The point is obviously that some, like I once did, do indeed
enjoy playing with TeX and writing purpose-built macros and tweaking and so
on - but not everyone! - and I, for one, am pretty tired of it these days
and would much rather spend my time doing real research.

Cordialmente,  Philip G. Ratcliffe

P.S.  Apologies to all top-posting abominators.
Professor of Nuclear & Subnuclear Physics
Dipartimento di Fisica e Matematica
Universita degli Studi dell'Insubria
via Valleggio 11
22100 Como (CO)

Tel. +39 (039) 238.6231
Fax  +39 (039) 238.6119
Cell +39 (340) 2346580
Web  http://www.unico.it/~pgr

> -----Original Message-----
> From: texhax-bounces at tug.org [mailto:texhax-bounces at tug.org]On Behalf Of
> Philip TAYLOR
> Sent: Friday, October 01, 2004 11:18 AM
> To: Robin Fairbairns
> Cc: texhax at tug.org; BROCKaQUANTIFIeR.ORG
> Subject: Re: [texhax] syllabus (fwd)
> Robin Fairbairns wrote:
> [snip]
> > the typeset documented source, with indexes, comes to something in the
> > order of 700pp of a4.  a convenient summing-up might be "they're
> > pretty complicated".  which really isn't enough; learning tex is a
> > good precursor of learning how to duplicate the functionality of
> > latex, but latex has a lot of useful structures embedded in it that
> > are useful stuff for the knowledgeable programmer.
> There is another way of looking at this : LaTeX carries with it
> an enormous amount of "excess baggage" which most users neither
> need nor understand.  I have yet to find anything which LaTeX
> can do that cannot be done using Plain TeX plus additional
> (custom) macros created specifically for the task in hand.
> Philip Taylor
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