[XeTeX] The apprentice's response

Wilfred van Rooijen wvanrooijen at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 18 04:02:48 CEST 2009

Note that for (very) advanced type setting ConTeXt may be better. It more closely approximates a DTP program. I've seen examples of ConTeXt where a book was written in some very old Icelandic alphabet (fonts made with metafont / metapost, part of any latex distribution), but also incorporating folding pages of various sizes, and also "critical editions" where a text is being translated and the original and translation are set on the left and right page, where all the lines have to always correspond. It is really amazing what latex can do!

As another side not, all Elsevier journals (www.sciencedirect.com) are set with latex. In fact, you can upload your tex document to the website and the PDF file will be made online, so you can immediately see what the paper will look like in print (more or less). I have worked with it and find it extremely convenient.

On the Dutch latex list, there are about as many members in the "humanities" area as in the sciences. For example, we have some philosophers, theologians etc who all use latex for their work. There are several latex journals in the world, where users can display the results of their particular application of latex. It is amazing what you can find every now and again.

Have fun,

--- On Fri, 4/17/09, Andres Conrado Montoya <andresconrado at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Andres Conrado Montoya <andresconrado at gmail.com>
> Subject: [XeTeX] The apprentice's response
> To: xetex at tug.org
> Date: Friday, April 17, 2009, 9:09 PM
> Hello there!!
> I wanna thank you all for your kindness. I think I know
> where to start.
> Steps (6 so far):
> 1. Learn LaTeX (Read a book, maybe "Helmut Kopka and
> Patrick W. Daly,
> Guide to LaTeX"). Other documentation: lshort.pdf, for
> example.
> Wikibooks version included. Some more in the web and my
> distro, now I
> know how to find them: texdoc <package>.
>   1.2. Once learned, Include things like memoir, special
> attributes
> for handling pdf bleed/trim/slug and specs, etc.
> 2. Once handled, take XeLaTeX.
>   2.1. Include things like fontspec. By the time you
> arrived here, you
> mostly will know what do you need and where to find it. And
> there is
> the list ;)
> 3. On doubt, go to 1. And the list.
> 4. Compose beautiful books! :)
> 5. go ahead and mess wit XeTeX and TeX!
> 6. Compose more beautiful books! again and again!
> For those of you who asked, I have no principal interest in
> the
> mathematics part of LaTeX, but REALLY have interest in the
> unicode/font support in XeLaTeX, because I work for a
> humanities
> faculty: http://www.humanas.unal.edu.co/cms.php?id=731
> (sorry, there
> is pretty much nothing about our projects, I posted them in
> my blog,
> see my signature. The sites are in spanish, sorry) and have
> to manage
> greek text, for example. Sometimes arabic, or hebrew. There
> is no
> efficient way of manage oriental languages in InDesign, for
> example,
> without buying special copies. And the software itself is
> pretty
> expensive. And I've seen things like the page of Dario
> Tarbonelli
> about LaTeX (http://nitens.org/taraborelli/latex) and the
> showcase of
> tsengbooks (http://www.tsengbooks.com/), and think
> "hey, if this can
> be done with LaTeX/XeTeX, my books can be done too, just
> need to learn
> it".
> I really want to remove the plague of propietary software
> in my design
> work. The prices are abusive, and the changes from versions
> unpredictable, machine demanding and pretty much bloated
> with useless
> stuff. I know very well the qualities of Adobe's soft,
> but for the
> things that I've been seeing, firmly believe that the
> same qualities
> can be archieved with software libre (free as in speech).
> So far, so good. I have been tried Scribus, and found it
> promising.
> But I think is basic, and unstable (the stable version have
> a many
> less design resources than the development version), and
> cannot use
> extendend open type properties, for example. But XeLaTeX
> can, and can
> do it very well, for the info I've seen. This is a very
> good
> beginning, the time is good, and I think I will walk.
> Thank you so much for your time and responses.
> -- 
> Andrés Conrado Montoya
> El Andi
> andresconrado at gmail.com
> http://chiquitico.org
> ----------------------------------------
> Los fines no justifican los medios, porque la medida
> verdadera de
> nuestro carácter está dada por los medios que estamos
> dispuestos a
> utilizar, no por los fines que proclamamos.
> ----------------------------------------
> Por favor, evite enviarme documentos adjuntos en formato
> Word o PowerPoint.
> Lea
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.es.html
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