Admit it

You only use this because of BibTeX.

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yeah, it sucks. I just used google docs to whip up a marketing document/proof more quickly because I was wasted too much time trying to get the formatting right in latex. The output is often unpredictable, like when trying to wrap text around an image.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I’ve found it’s the opposite, the output is extremely reliable, because it’s a PDF, you don’t have to worry about your formatting getting mangled cause something got updated.

      What it isn’t is intuitive, but it gives me the autistically finegrained control I want over my formatting, as well as TiKZ and Asymptote for diagrams. It’s not a good choice if you just need to slap shit together. Bibtex is also good shit, alongside the mathematics formatting, used it heavily for engineering papers.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Citation management is not that hard, regardless of bibtex.
    You can literally do it with fricking plaintext files too.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >conference requires m.word for abstracts
      >2 pages of text and 15 references are done
      >mfw need to insert one new reference in the beginning
      >mfw must manually bump all citation numbers like a fricking caveman
      Now imagine this for people writing 100page-long manuscripts.
      Latex with bibtex is a blessing you take for granted until it is taken from you

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I use it literally everyday. It just works, I really don't understand why people hate it.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I just hate the lack of namespacing.

      Zotero + Biber + Emacs was a super comfy setup when I was in university. That said, I stopped using LaTeX a while ago, and good riddance. What a frustrating piece of shit. I used to bear with it, but one day, after yet another multi-hour session of googling stuff and trying workarounds for problems that shouldn't exist, I had enough and rage-switched to Google Docs. If I remember correctly, that day started with trying to put a line break inside a table cell. This being LaTeX, of course stuff doesn't compose and you can't just do something intuitive like {line 1 \ line 2}. So I started searching for a solution, but most of what I found didn't work or broke even more shit. In the process, I found out that the package I was using to get extra table features (which should be in the core) was unmaintained and not recommended anymore. All this stuff triggered a realization that LaTeX is yet another tarpit language where everything is possible but nothing is simple or well designed, just like cmd .exe, Bash, and the CMakeLists.txt language. Pure wastes of time. (I've rewritten all my non-trivial Bash scripts in Python too.)
      I still love the idea of a Turing-complete programming language for documents, I even enjoy the LaTeX math syntax, but I'm going to wait until someone comes up with something actually good. Something built around a real programming language like Python or Common Lisp, not some moronic macro system that makes simple algorithms look like a page of line noise. Something that can do things like colored underlines and PDF hyperlinks out of the box. Something with a real plugin system, using callbacks and other abstractions instead of every package just redefining shit in the global namespace. Something that doesn't make me run compilation passes manually like it's 1970, only to litter my directory with temporary files. Something with proper tracebacks and readable errors. Until then, I'm sticking with normieware like Google Docs.

      >only to litter my directory with temporary files
      Is there any practical alternative to littering? It feels like every tool wants to shit up my directories and it just gets worse the less standardized the tooling ecosystem becomes. Then you have shit like software build systems, version control etc which produce a lot of permanent litter:
      >cmakelists (in every fricking subdirectory too)
      >ci-build.cmake
      >dockerfile
      >.gitignore
      >.gitmodules
      >.editorconfig
      >licenses
      >.codedocs
      >_clang-format
      >setup.py
      >etc
      >etc
      >etc
      Once this reaches a certain point navigating a codebase starts to feel like trying to fish in pic-related.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    yeah i like all my references being in a single file and then i can cite everywhere.

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I just use LyX because I like how it handles writing math

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Zotero + Biber + Emacs was a super comfy setup when I was in university. That said, I stopped using LaTeX a while ago, and good riddance. What a frustrating piece of shit. I used to bear with it, but one day, after yet another multi-hour session of googling stuff and trying workarounds for problems that shouldn't exist, I had enough and rage-switched to Google Docs. If I remember correctly, that day started with trying to put a line break inside a table cell. This being LaTeX, of course stuff doesn't compose and you can't just do something intuitive like {line 1 \ line 2}. So I started searching for a solution, but most of what I found didn't work or broke even more shit. In the process, I found out that the package I was using to get extra table features (which should be in the core) was unmaintained and not recommended anymore. All this stuff triggered a realization that LaTeX is yet another tarpit language where everything is possible but nothing is simple or well designed, just like cmd .exe, Bash, and the CMakeLists.txt language. Pure wastes of time. (I've rewritten all my non-trivial Bash scripts in Python too.)
    I still love the idea of a Turing-complete programming language for documents, I even enjoy the LaTeX math syntax, but I'm going to wait until someone comes up with something actually good. Something built around a real programming language like Python or Common Lisp, not some moronic macro system that makes simple algorithms look like a page of line noise. Something that can do things like colored underlines and PDF hyperlinks out of the box. Something with a real plugin system, using callbacks and other abstractions instead of every package just redefining shit in the global namespace. Something that doesn't make me run compilation passes manually like it's 1970, only to litter my directory with temporary files. Something with proper tracebacks and readable errors. Until then, I'm sticking with normieware like Google Docs.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Just use overleaf

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        That's even worse. It doesn't fix LaTeX's fundamental problems, it's slower than my computer, and I can't use my lovely Emacs config there. Though I did find it useful to collaborate with people on papers in uni.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Though I did find it useful to collaborate with people on papers in uni.
          I'm in the same position right now. It has it's hick ups but it works good enough for writting papers. Could be worse, some departments at my uni use fricking word. I'm in STEM mind you and moronic boomers can't be arsed to use Latex.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        LaTeX can't do tables.
        >what about this online table generator?
        Can't do merged cells outside of limited circumstances, can't finely control text alignment/spacing within cells, can't make bulleted lists in cells, can't do multi-page cells without longtable, which lacks even more functionality.
        I have my gripes with Word, but the ability to whip up graphs, tables, flowcharts, etc. without having to bother with switching between programs is really nice. They really need to replace that godawful image background eraser and add a reference/label/figure system, though.

        And yes, I know you can technically do a lot of that stuff I mentioned in LaTeX if you search around and read package documentation. I have wasted enough hours of my limited time in this world doing that.

        You need to pay a subscription just to allow several people to edit a document at once. Also, compiling and having to fix errors because your project partners are morons is not something anyone should be subjected to when making a fricking pdf document. God help any teams working on an Overleaf project remotely where they can't yell at everyone else in the room to stop making edits for a compile.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >You need to pay a subscription just to allow several people to edit a document at once.
          No you don't.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >can't finely control text alignment/spacing within cells
          Wrong, you just don't know how to do it
          >can't make bulleted lists in cells
          Wrong, you just don't know how to do it

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            do you always reply before reading the entire post?
            Yes, I've spent the time doing both of those things myself.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        baaaaaased

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      i switched to html+css(+js). the typesetting sucks but i can trivially use any font i want, can easily conjure up a custom full-page layout in minutes, and when something doesn't work the way i need it to, i never need to look through shitty spaghetti code spanning several dozens of files with no clear line of information inheritance.
      the result is marginally worse but it's saving me a crazy amount of time.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        in typst this is just

        #set text(
        font: "New Computer Modern",
        size: 10pt
        )

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          does it support anything other than the shitty markdown-like markup

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            yes

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Yes, it support math notation that is not pants on head moronic, unlike *Tex

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            There's a mistake in the formula, probably the <=c should be outside the indicator.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            looks correct to me

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            This notation looks fine, but LaTeX's math notation is fine too. It's fairly easy to type (backslash is right above Enter) and, more importantly, it gives you control over the typography in a reasonably consistent way. I don't get why people complain so much about it. It's one of the few decent parts of LaTeX, unlike the programming part or the tooling part.

            NTA, but this should do the trick
            ```
            #table(
            columns: (4cm, 4cm),
            [Hello Newline],
            [
            Hello

            Paragraph
            ]
            )
            ```

            So you don't need any special trick, just square brackets. Looks like an improvement!

            I just hate the lack of namespacing.
            [...]
            >only to litter my directory with temporary files
            Is there any practical alternative to littering? It feels like every tool wants to shit up my directories and it just gets worse the less standardized the tooling ecosystem becomes. Then you have shit like software build systems, version control etc which produce a lot of permanent litter:
            >cmakelists (in every fricking subdirectory too)
            >ci-build.cmake
            >dockerfile
            >.gitignore
            >.gitmodules
            >.editorconfig
            >licenses
            >.codedocs
            >_clang-format
            >setup.py
            >etc
            >etc
            >etc
            Once this reaches a certain point navigating a codebase starts to feel like trying to fish in pic-related.

            >Is there any practical alternative to littering?
            Not always I think, but in the case of LaTeX it's excessive. For example, these days you can compile a single .c file with zero litter, and many C projects contain their build litter to a "build" directory. LaTeX by default writes a bunch of temporary files into the same directory as your .tex file.

            >I'm going to wait until someone comes up with something actually good
            There are several alternatives that fit this description, Typst being the most shilled here and thus maybe the most likely to take off. I've tried Typst for something small and it's pretty good. It makes simple things easy and it uses a real scripting language rather than macros for extension.

            Mind you, the fact that something better exists doesn't mean you're going to switch to it. You'll probably stick with using Latex whenever you're forced to, which will be often because everyone else uses Latex and nobody else is going to switch until everyone else does first.

            >There are several alternatives that fit this description
            Got a list?

            thank God typst is on its way

            [...]
            typst fix these problems (extremely fast thanks to incremental compilation and collaboration is supported on the webapp)
            [...]
            typst uses an actual programming language instead of moronic macros

            Looks good! I'm not sure I like their choice to invent a new programming language instead of reusing something from the Lisp family, but in the end, the important thing is to use a regular programming language instead of a macro language. Everything else is secondary.
            How complete and usage-ready do you consider Typst? For example, can it replicate LaTeX's floats with positioning specifiers and float barriers (from the placeins package)? Enumitem functionality? Subfigures? Algorithm floats with an auto-generated list of algorithms?

            I’ve been using this shit for three decades now

            It sucks. Rotten 70s interface inherited from granddaddy Tex, shits all over your directories, incomprehensible errors, bizarre ecosystem where documentation and packages are shotgunned all over the internet

            Word and google docs are, incredibly, worse. Bibtex does references better, even plain Tex sets mathematics better, it makes any text look good. Section numbering works. You can insert a picture and it works. It can be version controlled. groff sucks (eqn and tbl in this millennium really). typst tries to be better but it isn’t, not really. Nice attempt though

            Why is typing stuff made so hard. We should go back to fixed width fonts and solve the problem forever

            >typst tries to be better but it isn’t, not really.
            Elaborate please?

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Got a list?
            Some anon did in a previous thread. The only one I remember from that is Sile. You can probably google for more.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >How complete and usage-ready do you consider Typst?
            It's still in beta and they're still adding some big features (e.g. they plan on having custom types in the future).

            >can it replicate LaTeX's...
            I'm pretty sure it has all of those. Look at the documentation to see what it can do.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >i switched to html+css(+js)

        It's more likely this will replace latex than typist. HTML/CSS does have the ability to specify page size and, obviously, styling.

        The benefit of this would be your document would be easily web-ready and print-ready at the same time. I'm surprised it's not the standard already.

        It would be trivial to write in markdown, convert to HTML and add a styling page for print.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >It's more likely this will replace latex than typist.
          not even remotely. It's pretty obvious typst will replace latex in our lifetime (or at least it will coexist in a 50/50 or 80/20 market share) there is not even a doubt at this point, it's just a matter of when.
          Typst is modern, faster, simpler to use and is backed by national funds (both European and from the state of Germany)
          You have to be a clueless moron to not see this

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >and is backed by national funds
            And we all know that in tech, where Europe goes, the world follows...

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Yep, we will enjoy type C connectors in iPhone thanks to yurop
            Still, this is just a matter of money, the technical qualities of typst don't come from a government

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            People already know HTML/CSS though. There are probably more people that know how to use HTML/CSS than have even heard of typst.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            people know html/CSS yet we still use Tex

            btw the majority of people who need Tex typesetting features rarely know html/CSS. the only exceptions are CS related majors but still they will actively avoiding using those for writing papers

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >There are probably more people that know how to use HTML/CSS than have even heard of typst
            that's not really surprising since typst went public like a year ago or two, I don't remember exactly
            Still, the development pace, adoption and 3rd part contribution is huge for such kind of project where there's a de facto monopoly

            People are simply tired of wasting so much effort in such inane activity like typesetting. it's just unexcusable how a frickig chore writing papers is as we are speakin

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Ada was also good and backed by a shitton of government funds. Not saying that Typst won't succeed, but your argument is very unconvincing.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            ada was indeed used successfully in the past for what is was made for

            the same will happen in 20 years of typst will become successful, it's the natural lifecycle of technology. something last more than other things but they eventually all get replaced

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >i switched to html+css(+js)
        Do you use a special renderer like Prince, or just your browser's print feature with a bunch of print-specific CSS to make the webpage look good on paper?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      thank God typst is on its way

      That's even worse. It doesn't fix LaTeX's fundamental problems, it's slower than my computer, and I can't use my lovely Emacs config there. Though I did find it useful to collaborate with people on papers in uni.

      typst fix these problems (extremely fast thanks to incremental compilation and collaboration is supported on the webapp)

      no I use latex because I like programming and writing in latex feels kinda like "programming" in some way. I just want to satisfy the autism.

      typst uses an actual programming language instead of moronic macros

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >thank God typst is on its way
      >typst fix these problems
      Sure you can support your claims, right? You are not one of those zoomers who sells le brand new shit just because it's different and new, aren't you?
      This guy had a problem: put a break line inside a table cell. Show me how you do it in typst, and please post a screenshot of the output.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Sorry, here I meant to quote this guy

        thank God typst is on its way

        [...]
        typst fix these problems (extremely fast thanks to incremental compilation and collaboration is supported on the webapp)
        [...]
        typst uses an actual programming language instead of moronic macros

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        NTA, but this should do the trick
        ```
        #table(
        columns: (4cm, 4cm),
        [Hello Newline],
        [
        Hello

        Paragraph
        ]
        )
        ```

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >I'm going to wait until someone comes up with something actually good
      There are several alternatives that fit this description, Typst being the most shilled here and thus maybe the most likely to take off. I've tried Typst for something small and it's pretty good. It makes simple things easy and it uses a real scripting language rather than macros for extension.

      Mind you, the fact that something better exists doesn't mean you're going to switch to it. You'll probably stick with using Latex whenever you're forced to, which will be often because everyone else uses Latex and nobody else is going to switch until everyone else does first.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I have similar experiences (B.S. Physics).

      I’ve found it’s the opposite, the output is extremely reliable, because it’s a PDF, you don’t have to worry about your formatting getting mangled cause something got updated.

      What it isn’t is intuitive, but it gives me the autistically finegrained control I want over my formatting, as well as TiKZ and Asymptote for diagrams. It’s not a good choice if you just need to slap shit together. Bibtex is also good shit, alongside the mathematics formatting, used it heavily for engineering papers.

      I always hear this claim, but picture formatting never worked for me. You must be in the lucky minority of people that could get it to work.

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    no I use latex because I like programming and writing in latex feels kinda like "programming" in some way. I just want to satisfy the autism.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      this. also, how do you guys pronounce LaTeX? I say "latex" like the rubber shit because I refuse to bow down to some Black personhomosexual who wants to be special but use latin characters.

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I use typst now

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I use it because math journals require you to use it

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Bibtex is good, also the ability to place images without wanting to kill myself. How does office frick it up so badly????

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I only use it when I'm forced to use it. Even Troff is less of a pain to use.

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    No I use LaTeX because of how fricking shit it was writing a doctoral thesis in Word and having so many fricking issues occur including Endnote randomly deciding to just delete all my fricking references except leaving the previous numbering so I manually had to go through 300+ fricking references to determine what was correct.
    Also the wonderful fricking problem about updating the table of contents which would change the pages which would change the page number for things which would update the table of contents which would change the page number of contents which would change the page which would change the table of contents and so on.
    LaTeX is great in my experience for writing papers with only issue maybe being image placement being a pain and even then it's still better than word.
    PS. I use Mendeley.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      you may want to look at typst. 80% the power of latex (for now) 20% the effort

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You may wanna look at sucking my nuts shill.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >PS. I use Mendeley.
      You may want to look at Zotero.

  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Never used BibTeX in my life because I'm actually employed

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Researchers are also employees, you absolute moron.

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I kinda liked it but at the new workplace LaTeX is like an alien spaceship control panel to my colleagues I have to cooperate with, so office365 + Zotero it is

  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Latex + LLM + math to text based image software is insanely overpowered

  16. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I’ve been using this shit for three decades now

    It sucks. Rotten 70s interface inherited from granddaddy Tex, shits all over your directories, incomprehensible errors, bizarre ecosystem where documentation and packages are shotgunned all over the internet

    Word and google docs are, incredibly, worse. Bibtex does references better, even plain Tex sets mathematics better, it makes any text look good. Section numbering works. You can insert a picture and it works. It can be version controlled. groff sucks (eqn and tbl in this millennium really). typst tries to be better but it isn’t, not really. Nice attempt though

    Why is typing stuff made so hard. We should go back to fixed width fonts and solve the problem forever

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >typst tries to be better but it isn’t, not really.
      to me it looks like an improvement on pretty much any metrics that matters

      unless you are some king of liberal art homosexuals who need pixel-perfect arrangement and stares at his paper like it's some kind of sunset they are both pretty much equivalent, but typst does the same things better

  17. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Well yeah and I hate it
    I hate even more that I shouldn't even have to. My IP sends in unedited word 2003 docs and the monkeys on the other side fix all that shit for him

  18. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I use typst now.

  19. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You're actually right.
    If LibreOffice Writer had a better bibliography system I'd use it.
    I don't like Zotero being an Electron program.

  20. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Last time I used it, it was because that was what the journal wanted. (Experience was way better than DEALING WITH ELSEVIER OH MY GOD I HATE THOSE homosexualS!)
    Stop faffing around with fonts and write your goddamn text. No excuses. Write.

  21. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I just use Word and I like the Word equation editor. I don't see what all the Latex hype is about. People on HN go off about how beautiful the resulting pdfs are but I think they're ugly and difficult to read.

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