[tex-live] rotating column content of a two-column document

Philip Taylor P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Sun Jun 21 10:18:26 CEST 2015

Reinhard Kotucha wrote:

> But I definitely can't recommend casual users to go this way.  Things
> are much too complex and require broad knowledge.
> If there are high-level macros available, I strongly recommend to use
> them.

This characterises the LaTeX approach v. the Plain TeX approach.  LaTeX
encourages the user to look for a package or packages that will solve
his/her problem; Plain TeX encourages the user to write a bespoke
package for him/herself.  By adopting the LaTeX approach, the "casual
user" will always remain a casual user, dependent on the work of others;
by adopting the Plain TeX approach, the casual user is forced to think
for him/herself, to research (in this example) the benefits and
limitations of direct access to the PDF transformation matrix, the
specification for the generation of bar codes, whether such bar codes
can be represented by nothing more complex than the superposition of a
sequence of TeX \rules & \kerns and the corresponding digit glyphs, and
so on.  And by so doing, the once-casual-user will become a power user,
able to think for him/herself, no longer dependent on the work of others.

"Give a man a fish and feed him for a day
 Teach a man to fish, and feed him and his family for life".

** Phil.

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