Well, actually LaTeX is a set of macros to make writing in TeX easier
(and as such "takes over" TeX), but it is almost entirely made up of
macros to facilitate or make easier the writing of mathematical
documents and other academic papers or books.

I have not worked much in TeX or LaTeX, but it seems to me to be just
as much to learn as in the old digital typesetter software. Me, I had
one of the CompuGraphic PowerView computers with dedicated CRT and/or
film typesetters. This was LONG ago.

Learning TeX or LaTeX makes not much sense to me as long as I have
FrameMaker. But just as FM it handles big files, I have been told. But
it is for free (as in speech and as in beer), so for people with no
money and lots of time it may be worth the while.

The nearest sibling that I am using (privately, of course) is the
music engraving software LilyPond, which I believe is built on or at
least related to Scheme. But then, FrameMaker does not include Music
Engraving options.

If you have some ready made documents in LaTex, then jusst convert
them to pdf and eps and FM takes over from there.

However, in Linux/UNIX/FreeBSD etc, readme files are usually plain
text. Help files are either so-called man files or info files, both of
which are mostly used to give information on and options of how to run
a piece of software, like ls, groff, troff, man, cp, etc. Man files
are just text files set up in a simple format using groff, IIRC, which
is very easy to learn.

The info thing is a bit more complex, as it includes xrefs etc, and I
tend to avoid it as I always forget something about which keys to use
to go here and there.

Bodvar Bjorgvinsson

On 2/14/07, Steve Rickaby <srickaby at wordmongers.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> At 00:43 +1300 15/2/07, rebecca officer wrote:
> >Okay, I'll rise to that bait. Nothing like a nice cheerful OT war.
> ;-)
> >I'll concede LaTeX's learning curve, and that its PDF support and font
> >management sucks. But it does absolutely gorgeous equations. Easily. And
> >it's got no bugs. And its bibliography engine is pretty cool.
> OK, I agree. But I've never seen anything come out of LaTeX not created by a 
> LaTeX expert that didn't look like an academic paper. If you want all your 
> printed material to look like academic papers, or if, of course, you actually 
> *write* academic papers, then that's fine. But as far as I can see, if you 
> want to bend LaTeX to produce the sort of output that the rest of the world 
> wants, you need to devote guru levels of time and application to it. Am I 
> wrong?
> >It's not the tool for Neil's job, but if I was writing an equation-rich
> >scientific article for print, I'd choose it over FM. And I'm a long way
> >from being a power user (I live with one; that helps).
> I think you just proved my point ;-)
> >Just my opinion, too, of course. ;-)
> Yup!
> --
> Steve
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