Friday, November 25, 2011

LaTeX Tip: TeXstudio

I have spent the last few days designing documents with LaTeX, using the XeTeX engine. The process has produced some great results, but a good amount of digging was required to find out rather obvious things. This series of articles will hopefully save you this time.

I will assume you've installed TeX Live in the default location, which is C:\texlive on Windows 7. There are two distributions that use XeTeX and only this one worked for me, as I wrote previously. Of course you don't have to use Windows; these are cross-platform open source applications.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And The Winner Is... TeX Live

Well, after all that rubbish I went through earlier in the day, finally some results! TeX Live installed correctly the second time. Of course it decided to place itself in the root of C: drive, not where nice-behaving apps should go. But I'll see if I can re-locate it later.

Right now, it's down to the business of laying out equations. In this follow-up article I will compare renderings of two LaTeX engines and three typefaces.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reasons To Despair, Or, Installing And Using LaTeX

Shake me or something but it's 2011. I'm not sure why software is getting more complicated and more broken instead of the opposite. I suppose I "ask for it" by expecting to install a geek-level text-based document layout package like LaTeX and have it work like it should.

I recently decided (tardy by a couple of decades) to have a look at LaTeX, since I often need to produce different printer-ready output in an easy and powerful fashion. The various WYSIWYG packages designed for this purpose are either a) rubbish, or b) expensive. I'm getting tired of laying out basic files by mouse when a keyboard is more efficient. After many years of HTML I am quite used to tag-based layouts. I coded for an awful long time, so this approach doesn't scare me.

The final straw is that I've had to lay out some math formulae recently, and that is a horrible process in a graphical editor. LaTeX has been performing this task for three decades. It's open and free, so why not?
Tuesday, November 01, 2011

General Strike in Oakland

Tomorrow, 2 November 2011, in Oakland there will be a General Strike. The stated purpose is to shut down the usual flow of goods and money that signify a system dominated by capital in its most oppressive forms. This is in direct response to the attempted dispersal of the Oscar Grant Plaza occupation. Among other things the police brutality on this occasion resulted in critical injuries to a an American veteran of Iraq. I will not attempt here to justify or document any of these activities, since the Occupy movement is far too complicated and diffuse to be summarised simply.