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Re: Improvements in the default LaTeX preamble: templates?

From: Juan Manuel Macías
Subject: Re: Improvements in the default LaTeX preamble: templates?
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 10:45:06 +0000

Ihor Radchenko writes:

> LaTeX is just one export backend to worry about. From broader
> perspective, we can have a generic template library.

Nice idea, I agree. I was targeting LaTeX specifically because of the
questions that have been raised in this thread and other parallel threads.
And because LaTeX is an extremely complex beast. And it has become much
more complex over the years[1]. No two LaTeX documents are alike just as no
two LaTeX users are alike. Just take a look at tex.stackexchange.com to
realize that reality...

(ConTeXt can be a good alternative for those who don't want to mess with
the complexity of LaTeX. In ConTeXt you don't need to load a package for
everything ---modules at most, but that's another story---, so almost
everything is out-of-the-box there).

[1] And there is also the problem of multiplicity: three TeX engines
coexisting at the same time, LaTeX2ε coexisting with LaTeX 3, etc.

> TEC is working on something along these lines. See
> https://tecosaur.github.io/emacs-config/config.html#cleverer-preamble

Thanks for the pointer! I did not know it and it seems to me a
tremendously interesting work. I'll keep an eye on it.

In my workflow, I am used to writing the configuration of a LaTeX
document (aka, "the preamble") through .sty files that I build according
to the requirements of each project. That is, I write my own packages.
That's probably why I have a bias of opinion here (I use LaTeX for
typesetting and editorial production, so I need more control), but I
tend to think that a LaTeX preamble is something so ductile that
achieving a certain degree of automation is an arduous task. At least
one automation that covers all possible use cases. That's where I got
the idea of being able to have a library of templates to cover different
types of documents, even the most idiosyncratic ones. Or, at least, that
they can serve as an inspiration to other users.

Best regards,

Juan Manuel 

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