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2007-2 issue is not a very big one (is it because
it's the busiest period of the year?). We did manage,
however to get some interesting and, hopefully, useful
The theme of the issue was "TeX for Editors" and I'm happy to see that all the papers are quite closely related to the topic. Two of the articles are related to the bibliographies in LaTeX. One is about a very useful package (for editors and publishers, mainly), pdfpages, and the other describes how an electronic journal, The PracTeX Journal, works.
The PracTeX Journal Issue 2007-3 has the theme, "Tools for LaTeX and TeX Users". The intention is to present ideas on the development of, and experiences on the use of, these tools.
The scope of the issue includes, but is not limited to :
- tools that assist the author in preparing graphics, indexes, bibliographies, and other parts of documents;
- previews, and PostScript/PDF manipulation tools;
- free or almost free tools;
- cross-platform tools.
We encourage you to submit original papers describing your experiences using LaTeX and TeX tools, and also papers on tool development work in progress or completed.
If you would like to submit an article or technical note for publication please contact the editors email@example.com. We will work with you to prepare the article. Also see http://tug.org/pracjourn/submit.html for the Journal's guidelines.
-- Important Dates (extended):
Paper submission deadline: July 22, 2007
Publication date: August 22, 2007
PracTeX Journal is receiving papers not only in English but
also in Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, German, Norwegian, Chinese,
Korean, Romanian and Italian languages. Please, contact the
editors in English.
2007-3 Issue Editor
Of course, first of all I would like to thank the authors for the time and effort they spent to write such interesting articles.
As for any issue, an essential part of the work was done by the production editors, which, in this particular case, were Lance Carnes, Francisco Reinaldo, Yuri Robbers and myself. Being myself a beginner in all the editing business, I couldn't make it without the constant help and encouragements of Lance, Rei and Yuri. Many thanks for that.A common misconception is that if you want to edit a journal or some proceedings with TeX you should absolutely have to be at least a TeXnician, if not a TeX wizard. I don't really think this assumption is correct. Definitely, you do need some expertise, but not much more than that. And you must have a methodical approach.
If the journal is already set to be used with LaTeX, and you have all the class and style files you need, your task is not very difficult. If you have to start from scratch, then you will have to take a number of decisions:
There are, basically, two roads you can take from here. Either you build your own class file, starting from scratch, or you take a class file which is close to your needs and you modify it. The first way, making your own class file in my opinion, is only for experts; if you don't know the inner mechanism of LaTeX it is quite difficult to get by. I, therefore, strongly recommend the second way, adapting an existing class file.
There are some issues that you will have to deal with before starting to work on the class file. First of all, there is the problem of copyright. It is part of the LaTeX policy to allow the modifications of class and style files, provided they are not distributed under the original name, and that the original source is acknowledged. So, from this point of view, you are on the safe side if you play by the rules. Secondly, it is a good strategy to choose as a starting point a class file that was originally designed for a journal (or several journals), such as amsart. The reason is that you will need an entire series of commands that are not available in the standard article class , for example, commands for volume, issue, year, etc.
And now comes the hard work. You will have to deal with some characteristics of TeX and LaTeX which are not familiar to the casual user, or even to more advanced users, if they only use LaTeX to write articles or books. There is a chapter in LaTeX Companion (by Mittelbach, et al.; see http://www.tug.org/books) explaining the structure of a class file. You may want to read it before you start. Anyway, all you have to do is figure out where in the document is the thing you want to change and how to change it, to adapt it to your needs. An excellent guide on document class internals is the article Rolling your own Document Class: Using LaTeX to keep away from the Dark Side, by Peter Flynn, published in the 2006-4 issue of The PracTeX Journal.
The last step you have to perform is to prepare the interaction with your authors. It is preferable, if you have enough time, to prepare a list of exigencies for the submitters. You have to be as specific as possible. In my opinion, at least the following points should be touched:
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