Tuesday, March 17, 2009

LyX, LaTeX and books...

I'm typesetting a book for a friend. Initially I had to decide between LaTeX and ConTeXt. Although LaTeX had a WYSIWYM editor in LyX I've always liked ConTeXt for its perceived completeness (their documentation always looked better than the rest) but I haven't touched it since 2002 when I last used it for preparing reports for college. However after checking out LyX 1.61 the choice was easy. LyX has come a long way since the early versions that used the XForms toolkit.

As for the document class to use for the book the popular choices seemed to be KOMA-Script and Memoir. I almost selected KOMA-Script when at the last moment decided to take a look the Memoir documentation and I was pleasantly shocked! The documentation for the memoir class is simply brilliant! (and beautifully typeset too!). It is not only a class documentation but also a complete introduction to typesetting. I'd say it is mandatory reading for any novice getting into typsetting. Google for memman.pdf and give it a good reading.

I ended up using LyX with minimal ERT needed to customize the memoir document class.

Here's an article that presents a good overview on designing a book with LyX:

http://www.linux.com/feature/56471

Also a good set of tips was picked up from
http://www.markschenk.com/tensegrity/latexexplanation.html

For preparing bibliographies, JabRef is a nice utiility for managing your BibTeX databases.

I haven't really looked at indexing options but the book is mainly an internal monograph so the index can be omitted.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hello again!

Back to blogger after roaming elsewhere for three years. As was mentioned in my last post here, I moved my blog to WordPress but was never happy which ofcourse had to with the then prevailing confusion in my life rather than wordpress itself. I eventually deleted that blog in early 2008 and then moved my blog to my own VPS on linode. After grappling with toolset issues (dokuwiki, blorg, ikiwiki) finally settled on pier which is what the fork of this blog is currently running on at http://scriptek.co.in/seaside/pier .

In the meanwhile this "dead" blog was getting more hits than all the other blogs put together. Also blogger is now a google service which meant that it was auto-associated with my gmail account which happens to be my primary email account. There were also additional conveniences like mail2blogger which suits my workflow than logging in and editing posts inside a HTML editor (which I really hate btw). All these factors made me want to switch back to blogger and continue my original blog. However there was a nasty problem: I forgot the password and the email that was associated with my blogger account was no longer there. So this blog was more or less orphaned but the hits kept coming. Wrote a few times to Google but I guess my requests went to /dev/null.

Finally, today I sat down to methodically try and eliminate all the passwords I've used so far in my life. After an hour of trial (and getting kicked out) I managed to login!!!

So here I am, back to where I first started.