On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 17:27, Ethan Merritt wrote:
> On Monday, February 28, 2011, Mojca Miklavec wrote:
>> > Ethan asked this already: PDF really is cross-platform. What don't you use
>> > that?
>> 1.) It lacks figures. (Well, there is an option to create PDF with
>> figures. But it works a bit bad. I can send screenshots, but I don't
>> know how to fix the problem in LaTeX. LaTeX is very user unfriendly
>> when it comes to creating floating text around figures.
> I find this kind of ironic. I thought you were the LaTeX guru,
(More ConTeXt than LaTeX. I hated the way LaTeX deals with layout in
general since day one.)
But even if I was a LaTeX guru, this doesn't change the fact that TeX
is very badly suited for this particular job. It is much better with
ConTeXt or LuaTeX (even though not exactly perfect).
> sending me complex instructions about re-installing everything in
> sight that I can't ever seem to get working. But now you're having
> trouble with something that works out of the box for me.
I does work here too. It is just that it works very very bad.
> So - what's wrong with the document produced by your system using
> the current "make pdffigures" target? How is it different from
> the pre-prepared one in the distribution?
I need to find the pre-prepared one first to compare. But see the
attachment for a single example (there are many others). Some figures
are fine, but many of them are weird. They:
- overlap with one another (if two figures are close to each other,
the second one will just overlap the first one)
- destroy height of footer (text goes way too low into footer)
- floats take space on next page (where they don't even show up)
- it happens that title stays on previous page and paragraph with
figure starts on next page
- if there is some verbatim code, it overlaps with the figure (see attachment)
- Not to mention that one author of package gnuplot uses is dead and
the other cannot be tracked down; they haven't used any licence at the
time when they wrote the package long ago (and nobody knows how to ask
the author if there is a chance to fix the licence), so the package
used for placing figures is not even available in tex distributions
any more (that is not to say that one cannot fetch it from ctan, but
it is still a bit inconvenient).
Unless there is a strong reason not to (I admit there are advantages
of current approach, but it is simply too buggy), I would prefer to
make the figures span over 70 or 80% of textwidth and make them
centered. In particula if one would use TikZ, text would have to be
One could add some macros to header to avoid dependency on picins, but
LaTeX has close-to-zero support for floating text around figures and
any given solution would be a very dirty one.
>> I would like
>> to suggest to switch to TikZ for graphics in the manual, but that is
>> lower on priority list.)
> How would TikZ help at all?
By creating nicer plots (with fonts that blend nicer into document for
example). It wouldn't solve the problem I was complaining about.
> I could switch the script to use TikZ
> rather than pdfcairo, but the figures still need to get included
> into the document.
I didn't say that switching terminal would solve the problem of
including floating images.
>> 2.) chm is really handy with its one-page-per-topic structure, it
>> resizes nicely (rewraps text) when I resize the window, it has a very
>> very very user-friendly user interface, better search etc.
> Better search than PDF? Maybe you need to switch PDF viewers.
Maybe searching is not so much different, but resizing and
I just want to say that CHM viewer is astonishing good for its job
(and displays the contents on mac much nicer than it does on windows -
a bit of an irony ...). It has excellent typography, text rewraps when
I resize the window (major difference) ... and I can search the
content on just the page I'm reading. Not for everything, but for this
particular task it does the job better than PDF, and it does it much
better than the viewer on windows.
> Are you saying that you want an option to compile gnuplot such that
> "help foo" triggers an external viewer rather than invoking the
> internal help system?
> That sound possible, but it has little to
> do with PDF vs HTML vs CHM.
Not entirely, but it still kind of does. I cannot use "help something"
to open PDF viewer on "(x,y) coordinate of page z". I need HTML to
create "a mac version of what chm does for windows". And I need HTML
source for that.