Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 16:10:03 -0500
Reply-To: "Fehd, Ronald J. (PHPPO)" <RJF2@CDC.GOV>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: "Fehd, Ronald J. (PHPPO)" <RJF2@CDC.GOV>
Subject: OT: another LaTeX OpEd
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Another BBU author who knows I am using LaTeX to typeset
my manuscript (most BBU authors use MS Word)
asked me why I made that choice
and what advantages LaTeX offers.
> I was a bit curious about LaTex,
> but I am probably going to use Word.
> I believe that SAS has to outsource processing of LaTex files,
that is correct
> and I'm not inclined to add that complication
that will happen after you turn in your final draft
> unless there is a good reason to do so.
good reason for you,
or for them?
in my initial conversations w/my BBU handlers
there was a big sigh of relief when I said that I could handle
the corrections to the galley proofs,
which is the first deliverable from the printer.
> [Someone I know used LaTeX in their book]
> but it's full of equations. I won't have that issue.
no, but you will have the issue of printing the exact code,
log and list you used and keeping them in sync.
> But tell me in 25 words or less why I might want to go with LaTex.
* never lose your document
* process text file, get output, like SAS
* supports Table of Contents, indexing, cross-referencing
* macros for processing programs
* never lose your document
I think points 1 and 5 are the most important.
Even with back-ups,
I have heard that when Word reaches its critial mass/mess
-- around 50 pages, iirc --
and crashes, it obliterates the document being worked on.
"MyBook.doc!?! ... It was just here a minute ago!*!"
Which would you prefer:
The Blue Screen of Death
or the more simple and concise:
"File not found"
I'm told that Word has a Master Document
but there is a separate learning curve to use that,
i.e. knowledge of Word does not transfer to use of MasterDoc.
you will want to Google:
MS Word master document
and get lucky:
MS Word is just that: a -word- processor.
LaTeX is a -document- processing application;
i.e.: paragraphs, pages, sections, chapters, etc.
-- oh! did I almost forget program, log and list?! --
not to mention ease of cross-referencing other authors.
Donald Knuth was no slouch of a programmer.
LaTeX is as straight-forward on processing multiple chapters
from a master document as a SAS program with %includes.
I don't know how you plan to test your programs
but I get my SAS programs running
and just %include the program, log and listing
into the document, i.e.: I don't cut&paste.
If I make changes to the SAS program
then the next time I LaTeX the book,
the latest version of the program,
log and list are brought in.
that means that in the end I have a test suite of SAS programs
which are the same as what is in the book.
I'll continue to urge you to use LaTeX.
As a SAS programmer, you're familiar with
processing a text file to get an output,
which is exactly what you do with LaTeX.
If Dianne didn't make it clear in her earlier conversations with you
I had about six years of typesetting experience back in the late 60s
and early 70s. That included work in a print shop
so I am familiar with the typesetting,
copy-editing, paste-up, printing and book production issues.
The choice is yours and it would be a relatively simple process
to convert any time in mid-stream.
I don't make that statement lightly.
Ron Fehd the LaTeX maven CDC Atlanta GA USA RJF2 at cdc dot gov
author of the award-winning* book
A SAS Companion,
A Rhetoric of Writing
for Reading and Reuse
* SAS-L vaporware: 2003, 2004, ... ;-)