[texhax] Examples of books written using LaTeX/TeX and related tools

Andy Farnell padawan12 at obiwannabe.co.uk
Wed Jul 8 01:25:05 CEST 2009

On Fri, 03 Jul 2009 18:19:25 +0100
Niall Mansfield <texhax at uit.co.uk> wrote:

> Folks occasionally ask about what sort of books can be produced using
> (La)TeX.  We've recently published a couple of books using only LaTeX
> and other free tools.  The first one is unusual because it's in 
> full-colour and
> contains hundreds of photographs and other illustrations.


Starting from online tutorials in 2005, "Designing Sound" became a
short free textbook of practical DSP examples in Pure Data (Pd) to use with
my students. It was originally entitled "Practical Synthetic Sound Design".

As well as writing and illustrating the book, plotting data and testing
the solutions I had to learn typesetting in LaTeX. This task was made 
possible by the kind, helpful members of this list to whom I am
grateful and have given acknowledgement.

All tools used are Free software, with extensive use made of Inkscape,
Xfig, Dia, Gnuplot and Octave. Pure Data itself is a free version of the
popular Max/MSP program. It is used in game development and mobile
audio synthesis systems such as RjDj for the APple iPhone.

The Pd diagrams export as Postscript, and can occupy a great range
of sizes. A challenge, and unique typesetting feature, of this book was
to use diagrams inline, as side paragraph pictures, and as stand alone
figures. This proved a difficult task, at one point I tried writing a 
parser to translate Pd netlists into PStricks code (unsuccessfully - and
went back to doing it the hard way aided by Perl scripts).

After selling hundreds of copies to customers around the world from my 
little publishing start-up Applied Scientific Press the book has now 
been signed to The MIT Press. Many of the kind reviews mention the
quality of typesetting/layout, which I believe to be an integral part 
of writing a technical textbook, inseparable from production of the text.

As all textbooks are a labor of love, this one took me 3 years, with no 
budget. LaTeX, Free software, and the support given to me, helped make it 
possible. Thankyou.

Andy Farnell
Author, "Designing Sound"

Use the source

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