[XeTeX] XeLaTeX and math --- a structural design query

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Thu Jun 18 14:17:28 CEST 2009

On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:34 AM, Nicolas Vaughan<nivaca at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> I have been commissioned by a university to design a collection of
> monographs on mathematics. I should be providing a class file, a user manual
> and a typeset example.

This leaves out the workflow.   What steps are needed to go from the
author's files to the press-ready files?   Will there be resources to make
corrections to crummy artwork, check bibliographic references, redo
crummy tables, etc?   Are you working with an existing university press?
Do they have experience with TeX and mathematics?

> At the outset, I decided to work in XeLaTeX, since this is the system I have
> been working with lately, and with which I feel quite comfortable.
> However, some folks have told me that, since I know not what the precise
> content of the monographs will be (apart from the usual LaTeX packages and
> AMS commands and environments), there is a risk there might be a clash
> between XeLaTeX and the content (e.g., with commutative diagrams, perhaps?).
> What do you suggest? Should I stick to plain old LaTeX, or should I go all
> the way through with XeLaTeX?

Others have provided good advice, but it would help to know more about the
background.   If you expect authors to provide source documents you should
consider what they are doing now, e.g., publishing in English language journals
using LaTeX with eps figures and try to stay close to their existing workflows.

In an environment were the source documents are mainly unicode (e.g., Word
and not using English) and no legacy LaTeX workflow, XeLaTeX might be easier
for the authors.

Ross Moore mentioned problems with author-generated figures.   Do you have
any control over how figures are created?  Many publishers still want "EPS",
by which they mean Adobe Illustrator files.  I find that older authors have some
experience with EPS, but that it is a mystery to those who have only used
MS Office.   PDF is much more accessible (everyone has a PDF viewer)
so you should be prepared to consider a PDF workflow if EPS is not
something your authors have experienced.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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