[texhax] Was Re: pagestyle{empty}; Now is LaTeX documentation

W. Craig Carter ccarter at mit.edu
Thu Mar 30 18:01:07 CEST 2006

I think that the following are well-intentioned, but they might be 
misconstrued as off-putting remarks:
> Check your documentation and read the FAQ.
> Please get a new book on LaTeX. The \bf command has been
> deprecated for more than a decade.
> There is also a lot of documentation in the texmf/doc directory.
> It's a pity that most people don't know, though they spent a lot of
> time downloading all this.

My opinion is that, as LaTeX changes and new packages are added, it 
becomes more difficult for beginning users to find appropriate 
documentaton and this difficulty creates an impediment.  Many users 
will copy an old working example and modify it because it works; 
thus, the continued use of \bf.

A case in point: Suppose I am interested in the parallel package and 
want to know about *all* of its features.  How do I know that I 
should look at TeXLive/texmf/latex/doc/parallel? Moreover, it gives 
me only examples and I still am not sure if I know if a feature I 
might want is there but doesn't appear in an example.  Because I am 
in a hurry, I try to parse the information by looking through 
parallel.sty. This is not for the timid.

I can't imagine how all documentation could be made accessible to a 
spectrum of users and don't offer a solution.  However, a list like 
this does serve the purpose to a large degree. It would be a shame 
to discourage new users.

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