Re: real books

Subject: Re: real books
From: Chris Gooch <chris -dot- gooch -at- rocketmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 17:07:09 +0100 (BST)

Also, on this point:

My problem is not the tool to use for formatting, it's more the thought
of his time vs our time in terms of costs. Obviously his time is much
more expensive than ours and formatting seems a rather 'mechanical' job
once the template is set. I feel somewhat guilty that he spends his time
on a task that could be done by a DTP person who makes much less, even
though the author likes TeX and doesn't mind doing his own formatting.

I think it is worth a moment to consider this statement:

> formatting seems a rather 'mechanical' job
once the template is set

This is of course entirely correct. And that is why TeX/LaTeX users let the computer do it for them. This is an important thing to understand, since you mention psychology. To someone with experience of LaTeX, the idea of fighting with some awful GUI "what you see is what you might get" tool on a never ending basis seems worse than using a quill pen. Once a TeX style has been developed, you should be able to write very quickly without worrying about layout, safe in the knowledge that it will come out looking pretty good. If it doesn't, a re-write of a paragraph, or a tweak to the style will fix it - no DTP jockeying should ever be required.

Of course, it's also possible to make a huge mess in TeX, but there you go. Hopefully your man knows what he is doing.


Chris Gooch
Freelance Technical Writer / Software Developer,
Sheffield, UK.


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