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From the Editor: In this issue; Next issue: LaTeX for Teachers; Editorial: LaTeX Work Bench

Francisco Reinaldo

In this issue
Next issue: LaTeX for Teachers
Editorial: LaTeX Academic Work Bench

In this issue

Since its first edition in 2005, the PracTeX Journal has accepted papers not only in English but also Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, German, Norwegian, Chinese, Korean, Romanian, and Italian. Our mission is to provide the best possible quality of papers on the practical use of LaTeX and TeX for our readers. The gratifying response to the 2007-3 issue, and others, testifies to the readers' need to understand how to produce documents with LaTeX.

This PracTeX Journal 2010-1 issue has the theme "LaTeX Academic Work Bench". The goal of this issue is to present ideas on the use of LaTeX tools for education, teaching, and classroom purposes.

In the development of this issue, the strategy applied was to provide a detailed survival manual to captivate those who use LaTeX. The goal was to elaborate a basic plan for common users, but also focus on advanced learners. Detailed and elaborate theory was omitted, leaving only that which was necessary for user understanding, and enough detail to get the job done. Additionally, a variety of models were added following practical activities to improve students' LaTeX skills.

Continuing our mission to provide the best possible articles for learning/research, it is our pleasure to tell you that this new issue is the largest one ever produced. This issue consists of 18 articles with the latest news about development of the tools, and their use and effectiveness from basic to advanced learning levels. The issue is intend as a practical guide to the use of LaTeX resources, techniques and tools. Simple examples of usage are given throughout. Brief explanations accompany the examples wherever necessary, and videos are available to illustrate selected topics.

We continue, as well, to publish our traditional columns: News from Around, Distractions, Ask Nelly, and Book Reviews. The Travels in TeX Land column, a regular feature since the Journal began, will make its last appearance in this issue.

In this issue, our authors submitted papers describing their experiences using LaTeX and TeX tools in an academic setting. If you are interested in beginning or improving the development and stylization of documents with higher typographical quality, then this issue is highly relevant to you. We have included articles that improve your understanding and introduce you to new tools and resources. Further, they present a LaTeX learning process that encourages the successful completion of your work.

Thank you and enjoy this brand new issue!

Next issue: LaTeX for Teachers

Our intention is to select articles describing LaTeX tools useful for teachers: packages for constructing examinations, homework problem sets, textbooks, presentations and handouts, curriculum vitae, and others.

If you would like to write an article for the Journal send your idea or outline to the editors.


Many people have collaborated directly or indirectly to the success of this issue: the authors, particularly the ones who have worked with me in the revision process, the production editors, and the readers. They have discussed with me, suggesting all kinds of topics or helped me in the revision.

There is no way to write all the names, so I would like to mention Lance Carnes, Paul Blaga, Will Robertson, Yuri Robbers and David Walden for their intensive work in this issue; and especially Thomas E. Price and Lance Carnes who kindly donated two copies of their book "LaTeX Quick Start: A first guide to document preparation" as a gift for me and my students (LIC-UnilesteMG(BR)); and some authors with whom friendships were formed during the preparation of this issue, the most gratifying part of this work. This issue is dedicated to all of you!

Many thanks also to the reviewers and proofreaders who checked the articles and sent comments and corrections.

Editorial: LaTeX Academic Work Bench

When I was invited by Lance Carnes to co-edit this issue with Paul Blaga, it was an honour. I was fortunate to be able to work with Paul Blaga, who has many years of experience working with LaTeX in an academic setting. Myself, well, I am an enthusiastic guy and have been using LaTeX for about six years.

This issue was developed with the goal of demystifying LaTeX for the reader who is or would like to be in the LaTeX world. We decided to take a different approach and went beyond the bounds of traditional journals, and possibly broke some rules along the way.

This issue may look similar to previous ones, but in fact it is not. It has many differences that can be summarized in five main features. First, we had many students from my home country of Brazil submitting their work, and we hope this continues. Second, this issue is the first one that offers short videos to summarize the articles - we do not know of any other journal that has these. Third, our authors were instructed to produce papers almost in a step-by-step manner - it felt odd to require this, but it was for a noble cause! Fourth, in this issue you will find heterogeneous experiences brought by authors from at least eight countries: France, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Ireland, Belgium, USA, and Spain. For us, it was amazing collaborating with all of them. Lastly, this is the largest PracTeX Journal issue ever - a challenge we gave ourselves when we accepted Lance's invitation.

Francisco Reinaldo
Paul Blaga
Issue Editors 2010-1

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