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2018-01-15

  • 05:08 UTC (new) 2018-01-15 Counting LaTeX commands in a bunch of files . . . . Marcin Borkowski I hope that I want bore anyone to death with blog posts related to the journal I’m working for, but here’s another story about my experiences with that. I am currently writing a manual for authors wanting to prepare a paper for Wiadomości Matematyczne. We accept LaTeX files, of course, but we have our own LaTeX class (not yet public), and adapting what others wrote (usually using article) is sometimes a lot of work. Having the authors follow our guidelines could make that slightly less work, which is something I’d be quite happy with. (Of course, making a bunch of university mathematicians do something reasonable would be an achievement in itself.) When I presented (the current version of) the manual to my colleagues in the editorial board, we agreed that nobody will read it anyway. And then I had an idea of preparing a TL;DR version, just a few sentences, where I could mention the one thing I want to get across: dear authors, please do not do anything fancy, just stick with plain ol’ LaTeX. And one component of that message could be a list of LaTeX commands people should stick to. (If you have never worked for a journal or somewhere where you get to look at other people’s LaTeX files, you probably have no idea about what they are capable of doing.) So here I am, having 200+ LaTeX files (there are twice as many, but I had only about 200 on my current laptop), meticulously converted to our template (which means our class and our local customs, like special commands for various dashes or avoiding colons at all costs), and I want to prepare a list of LaTeX commands used throughout together with the information about the frequency of using them.

2018-01-07

  • 20:22 UTC (new) 2018-01-07 A small editing tool for work with AMSrefs . . . . Marcin Borkowski As I mentioned many times, I often edit LaTeX files written by someone else for a journal. One thing which is notoriously difficult to get right when writing academic papers is bibliographies. At Wiadomości Matematyczne, we use AMSrefs, which is really nice (even if it has some rough edges here and there). (BTW, BibLaTeX was not as mature as it is today when we settled on our tool; also, AMSrefs might be a tad easier to customize, though I’m not sure about that anymore…) One of the commands AMSrefs offers is \citelist. Instead of writing things like papers \cite{1}, \cite{2} and~\cite{3}, you write papers \citelist{\cite{1}\cite{2}\cite{3}}, and AMSrefs sorts these entries and compresses runs into ranges (like in [1-3]). The only problem is that most authors have no idea that this exists, and we often have to convert “manual” lists of citations into \citelist‘s. Well, as usual, Emacs to the rescue.

2017-12-31

  • 06:34 UTC (new) 2017-12-31 LaTeX pillory – macros everywhere . . . . Marcin Borkowski A few years ago, my frustration with what people do with (or to…) LaTeX made me start a (now rather abandoned) series of blog posts (in Polish) with the common theme of a “LaTeX pillory”. The name is somwhet misleading, since I don’t really want to shame anyone – but I do want to put shame on some practices. This time I received something that is so terrifying that I decided to revive that project.

2017-12-24

  • 05:17 UTC (diff) 2017-12-24 Merry Christmas . . . . Marcin Borkowski typo (minor)
  • 05:17 UTC (new) 2017-12-24 Merry Christmas . . . . Marcin Borkowski It’s Christmas time again! Thanks be to God for keeping me and my family alive and well, but even more for taking care of us in sometimes quite astonishing ways. As usual, I wish all of you Merry Christmas. Let these days be devoted less to your everyday activities and more to the awe at the greatness of God who gives meaning to them. I hope that even if you are far away geographically, we will meet someday in the Father’s house. As the tradition goes, I will offer a decade of Rosary to all of you!

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