[texhax] book to buy?
William F. Adams
wadams at atlis.com
Sat Sep 25 15:20:52 CEST 2004
On Saturday, September 25, 2004, at 09:03 AM, Robin Fairbairns wrote:
> there are no books, really, on how latex works. k&d (i don't know
> about kopka's german version) has extensive details on skating round
> the periphery, but little (if anything) on the innards.
> there was talk of a tome on design at one stage. i don't know what
> came of it. i keep making fitful moves towards a web site that will
> document latex internals, but i've not touched the prototype (plain
> text) document for more than a month. and i've no clear ideas about
> extending it to "design considerations".
I would _love_ to see this text.
For the interim, I've found that I've been able to be fairly
self-sufficient in doing fairly complex book macros / design /
formatting through the following:
- first, check the FAQ - this solves better than 90% of typical
- check CTAN to see if there is a package for one's problem-space.
- read _all_ of the documentation for the documentclass/package one is
[optional] - use the Memoir class, it has an excellent manual, and the
documented source is quite good.
- use the freely available _TeX for the Impatient_ to get the low-down
on TeX internals at need, or when falling back on raw TeX at need.
Victor Eijkhout's _TeX by Topic is also available (but not free, and
I've not found occasion to send him a check, so I try not to use it ---
at some point I'll have to do that, but in the interim, at least my
conscience is clear)
- get a copy of _The LaTeX Companion, 2nd Edition_ --- the index is
quite good in the new edition, and most topics are addressed quite
- use http://groups.google.com to see how others have faced similar
difficulties (there've only been one or two which I couldn't find
in-depth, high-level, erudite discussions on)
and lastly (and this is probably the bit which most directly applies)
- build and look through source2e.pdf (Use the Source Luke).
That last I find tough sledding at times, and that comes back to the
crux of our discussion, that there's no single place to get the
knowledge / understanding which one needs to hit the ground running
when reading it.
William Adams, publishing specialist
voice - 717-731-6707 | Fax - 717-731-6708
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