[Chugalug] Programmatically generating LaTeX

Sean Brewer seabre986 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 24 06:01:16 UTC 2013

This is kinda off-topic, but do you guys use any kind of build system with
your LaTeX?

I use a Rake file with tasks to build and clean the generated files. I also
use Guard to watch the file I'm working on, which automatically builds the
TeX file using the rake tasks for me as I save. If I have a PDF viewer open
to the PDF while I save, it'll update, which is cool.

I think there's an editor in MacTeX that will do a side-by-side preview
with your code and the output, but not "watch" it. Is there an editor that
does what I'm doing?

On Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 6:41 PM, Robert A. Kelly III <
bluethegrappler at gmail.com> wrote:

> When programmatically generating LaTeX from other sources, how do you
> deal with some of the unique features of LaTeX, such as distinguishing
> inter-word and inter-sentence spacing, and hyphen-minus versus en dash
> and em dash?
> E.G.- LaTeX typically uses a larger space between sentences than between
> words, so we indicate when a period does not indicate the end of a
> sentence by writing,
> "Fruits, vegetables, etc.\ are on sale today." and since initials are
> assumed not to end a sentence we write,
> "He was staying in apartment B\@." when it does. Similarly, in writing
> plain text it is common to use a hyphen-minus for a variety of things
> that actually have different representations in good formal typography.
> Ranges of numbers, for instance, are properly written with an en dash,
> so in LaTeX we write, "1982--2013" rather than, "1982-2013".
> Some of these things seem like they would not be easy to determine
> programmatically what is the appropriate representation (which is
> probably why LaTeX requires explicit indications for some of these
> things while it does other things, such as typographical ligatures,
> automatically). For instance, just because a hyphen-minus comes between
> two numbers does not mean it should be an en dash. Telephone numbers are
> commonly separated by a hyphen, never an en dash. Of course, depending
> on context, a number like 457-1024 could be a phone number, or a range
> of numbers, etc.
> It seems to me that many of these things could be solved by using
> unicode with proper characters for various dashes, accented characters,
> etc in whatever source we are processing and then using XeTeX. However,
> this still wouldn't solve some things, like the difference in spacing
> between words and sentences.
> What are the usual or recommended ways of handling this? I'm sure it is
> something that has been addressed before as I have heard many times of
> LaTeX being generated programmatically to generate PDF reports, by Emacs
> calendar and org-mode, etc.
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