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  • #31
    Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
    EVERYBODY has a text editor installed. A plain text editor is the only required software for making changes to a LaTeX document. Not everybody has LibreOffice. Some have MS Office, others MS Office:Mac, others Google Docs, others Calligra, others WordPerfect, others iWork, and others some ancient OpenOffice version.
    And all of those can read .doc files, and LibreOffice has been okay with .docx for me.

    Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
    And no, nobody needs to learn LaTeX markup when they are just editing text in an existing document. Too bad you were only talking about editing existing documents and not about your parents creating LaTeX documents from scratch.
    Adding a table or a picture requires learning the syntax (and making sure you have the right packages included to support that image format). To make some text bold you need the syntax. To change alignment you need the syntax, to force a page break you need to know the command. Also, how would somebody know if their syntax is correct if adding a table? If they don't download LaTeX they have no way of knowing what the final document will look like.

    Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
    But, btw, learning LaTeX basics takes about an afternoon. Fixing document breakage because a document goes through only partially compatible office suites takes much longer.
    I'm familiar with LaTeX, and use it regularly and like the way it works. But you are proposing that everybody in the world downloads, installs and learns it, which is impractical to say the least. An afternoon is okay for the bare minimum of LaTeX, but not everybody learns at that rate, particularly as it's a completely new animal compared to WYSIWYG office suites that people are already familiar with (and would still need for spreadsheets and presentations).

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    • #32
      Hijack.

      Never having used latex (having been put off by the absolutely fuckhuge space requirements for it, and its complexity - seriously gigabytes for a text editing system), what am I losing by using asciidoc?

      My asciidoc install took 1.9mb, and the syntax is very close to what I already wrote.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by archibald View Post
        And all of those can read .doc files, and LibreOffice has been okay with .docx for me.
        Not all these can write .doc. Not all can read ODF and among those which can, not all cover the same feature set. Result: Messed up documents.

        Originally posted by archibald View Post
        Adding a table or a picture requires learning the syntax (and making sure you have the right packages included to support that image format). To make some text bold you need the syntax. To change alignment you need the syntax, to force a page break you need to know the command.
        So? As I wrote: All it takes to get LaTeX basics is one afternoon.

        Originally posted by archibald View Post
        Also, how would somebody know if their syntax is correct if adding a table? If they don't download LaTeX they have no way of knowing what the final document will look like.
        You mean like you can't know how a document looks after passing it from one office suite to another through multiple format conversions.

        In the end you need a final editor anyway. Either he sits for 12 hours in front of his favourite office suite to fix all the problems or he sits in front of a text editor and a LaTeX compiler for 30 minutes.

        Originally posted by archibald View Post
        An afternoon is okay for the bare minimum of LaTeX, but not everybody learns at that rate, particularly as it's a completely new animal compared to WYSIWYG office suites that people are already familiar with
        A) I'm a slow learner and I managed in that time. Others are faster than me.
        B) People know dick about office suites. 99.9% of people “familiar” with office suites still select text and change a font via the toolbar instead of working with style sheets. People too stupid for even the basics of word processing shouldn't touch anything else than a simple text editor.

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        • #34
          Awesomeness, let's just stop the argument here: it doesn't look like it's going anywhere.

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          • #35
            HTML

            A lot more people have a web browser than Latex, and you can edit files with any text editor, too.

            Yeah, obviously HTML is the best way of sharing documents.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
              A lot more people have a web browser than Latex, and you can edit files with any text editor, too.

              Yeah, obviously HTML is the best way of sharing documents.
              Not really.
              HTML pages, especially when you start using complex things, tend to render differently on different browsers (or not render at all).

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              • #37
                Originally posted by gilboa View Post
                Not really.
                HTML pages, especially when you start using complex things, tend to render differently on different browsers (or not render at all).

                - Gilboa
                /not sure if serious

                1st, i was being sarcastic. Obviously a WYSIWYG editor like *Office is best for most people.

                Second, if all you care about is portability, just stick with plain text. Don't bring anything fancier into the equation at all.

                Third, i would definitely argue that people viewing things rendered slightly wrong is far better than having them rendered not at all, because they don't have latex.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by curaga View Post
                  Hijack.

                  Never having used latex (having been put off by the absolutely fuckhuge space requirements for it, and its complexity - seriously gigabytes for a text editing system), what am I losing by using asciidoc?

                  My asciidoc install took 1.9mb, and the syntax is very close to what I already wrote.
                  If you install all of texlive then its indeed a few gigabytes. But then you get everything, all optional packages, all languages, all documentation. Basic LaTeX is not that much. Try playing with the texlive package manager if you don't want everything.

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