On 2014-11-26, at 20:00, Jacob Gerlach wrote:

> Hello list,
> I'm starting writing my thesis, for which I hope to remain in org-mode
> rather than regular LaTeX.

Personally, I never really got that; I much prefer writing in LaTeX.
(That said, I've been using LaTeX for almost 15 years now, and plain TeX
for, like, two decades, with heavy hacking on both, and am currently
writing a (yet another, though hopefully unique;-)) book on LaTeX so I'm
rather biased.)

OTOH, I never really bought the idea of dividing my LaTeX project into
several files.  The only reasons I can come up with are:

1. Compilation time.  Nowadays almost non-issue, especially that you can
C-c C-r a region (or a previously, specially marked (with region and
then C-c C-t C-r) fragment of the LaTeX file) in AUCTeX.  (As said by
others, you can do a similar thing in Org-mode.)

2. Collaboration and editing issues.  Nowadays a non-issue with modern,
distributed CVSs with good merging capabilities (like Git or Mercurial).

3. Efficiency of editing (font-lock, for instance).  Nowadays a
non-issue due to the speed of today's machines (oh, ye olde times;-),
when my first PC had a 40 MHz clock, 4 MB of RAM and 170 MB (!)
HDD... and before that I had a C-64, with 64 kB RAM and 1 MHz processor
- and I did some *real work* with that!)

So, basically, I'd advise going with one big file.  There are several
advantages to that - the main (for me, at least) being the ease of
navigation between various parts of the project.

That said, I'm just wondering whether there is something in Emacs which
would combine several files (possibly in different languages) into one
buffer (maybe even in Org-mode), where C-x C-s would save each part into
its own file etc.  Just thinking.  (Babel/tangling probably comes

> I am working on adapting a thesis LaTeX template into org-mode. The
> template is set up with a main.tex having several individual files
> (chapters, appendices, etc) \include'd.

Is that required in any way?  I'd be surprised if it was.

> I believe that I could parallel this using org's publishing mechanism. An
> alternate approach would be to use one single file, since I can simply fold
> chapters to focus my workflow.

Yes.  (FYI: you can also fold things in AUCTeX.)

> My first concern is losing the ability to use internal links if I use
> separate files. Another thought is compilation time if I use one file and
> must always run pdflatex over the entire document. I'm sure there are
> pitfalls either way that I'm not yet aware of.

This is maybe only distantly related, but shameless plug:
https://github.com/mbork/org-one-to-many.  (The project is currently
dormant, since I'm working on a few other things, but I'm going to
revisit it within a few weeks/months.  Feature requests/bug reports are

> Any input or advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Just my 2 cents: I'd go for LaTeX if heavy math typesetting is involved
(then amsmath!), maybe for Org otherwise, check whether the template
imposes a many-file structure (which it probably doesn't), and keep
everything in one file.

> Regards,
> Jake


Marcin Borkowski
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Adam Mickiewicz University

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