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Improving on our literature creation software/data

Collaboration on literature for the fellowship, such as a Basic Text, a book of Daily Reflections, and pamphlets that address special topics
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Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Improving on our literature creation software/data

Post by ADH »

There is a piece of software available that has been used to create documents for the last 30 years, which is again based on software which is about 40 years old. That software is still in use today and is trusted by many people. It's called LaTeX (I recently discovered it's announce La-Tech. Thing with LaTeX is that, unlike other products, it is actually finished (as in done, no more features needed). This means that documents produced with it can compile with the exact same result 30 years down the road. It's also open source software.

  • Open source
  • Guaranteed future compatible (so, 30 years down the road the document can be edited and compile to exact the same result). This one is important for our fellowship.
  • It forces you to focus on the content, as opposed to the layout. The layout is taken care of by LaTeX, in accordance to your instructions.
  • Better results then a word processor
  • Better automation then a word processor (for our purposes: automatic contents, indexes, footnotes, headers, page markup, outlining, etc.
  • There's an initial learning curve, but once you've overcome that, you can get way better results then with a word processor
  • It's not WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), this means that you won't see the results of your changes immediately as the final result. This is actually also an advantage of it. There are some latex editors that compile the document while you type and show the result as you work right next to your work window. overleaf is an example of that. That are many more latex editors.
It is important for us to realize that certain software or services might not be there 30 years (or even 5 years) down the road or might be completely incompatible with our current documents. For me, this is not acceptable, this is a genuine concern with a future fellow which might all of a sudden find that he has to surrender his anonymity or cannot open a document which was created 30 years ago and needs to edit it. In this regard, my thoughts are with future fellows who may need to do work on documents we're creating today.

There is also a Tutorial, another one, yet another one. You can find more by asking google or duckduckgo.

If we go for latex, but choose not to use overleaf, we may need to provide ourselves with revision control and some people may need help in setting latex and rcs up on their computer. Which, shortly said, results in us needing to figure out some more stuff. This is a side issue (as overleaf is a real option).

Advantages of overleaf:
  • I checked out their terms, and they're very reasonable. They basically provide the software and we keep ownership of our documents.
  • They respect privacy.
  • Functions much the same as google docs, as in you can have multiple people work in the same document.
  • No need for a latex install on your computer.
The only disadvantage it has is that it costs money (as far as I could figure out, but in this regard I may be wrong).

Over here more information can be found, including installation instructions.

What follows in an example tex file, which produces the attached result:

Code: Select all

\title{Computer Gaming Addicts Anonymous}
\newcommand{\yesno}{ $\square$ Yes \ \ $\square$ No }

This is the first line.

This is the second line.

This is the third line.
\chapter{Who is a gaming addict?}
``Am I a gaming addict?´´ Only you can answer that question. We, at CGAA, use the term gaming addict to describe our obsessive and compulsive gaming. It grows worse over time, until we are unable to limit or stop, despite the many troubles and losses it causes.

For most of us, it started innocently. We got a device, which could be used for gaming, and started playing. At first it was fun and our lives didn’t seem to suffer. Slowly, but surely, the games took over our lives and the games slowly became all we cared about. Others of us were instantly hooked. Everything else in our lives ended up having a lower or no priority and so ended up disappearing from our lives. Some of us spent all our time in a single game, others played lots of different games. Some of us played MMOs endlessly, others had their shooters and then there were those who were busy with an electronic toy for hours on end. Gaming took a different form for each of us, but all of us were seeking an escape to a better world: a world we could use to replace reality with. A world of impossible dreams.

\begin{tabular}{m{10,5cm} m{3cm}}
	Do you become irritated and defensive when people suggest you might be gaming too much? & \yesno{}\\
	Have you ever taken a break from gaming and binged uncontrollably upon your return? & \yesno{}\\
	Do you set limits with gaming and then break them, playing hours longer than intended? & \yesno{}\\
This is a test.
(56.2 KiB) Downloaded 24 times
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