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Old 04-20-2019, 11:33 PM   #46
ehartman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upnort View Post
I would be curious of the average age of Slackers. Another poll is how many years of using Slackware. And for statisticians, what kind of overlaps possibly exists between the two results.
I'm almost 67. Before retirement I was connected to the Mathematics and Computer Science department of the Delft University of Technology, where I introduced the use of Slackware in 1994 (and I have been using it ever since, apart from some job-required excursions into other distro's).
 
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:09 AM   #47
edorig
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I did a PhD in solid state physics (theory) in 1994-1998 at the University at Paris-Sud. At the time, I had used UNIX System V
on IBM RS/6k (AIX) and HP 9000 (HP-UX with VUE the ancestor of CDE) and I knew that it was possible to run XENIX on 80286 according
to a book of Christian Kaare but with mediocre performance compared with a workstation. Another student who was doing numerical simulation of spin glasses introduced us to Linux Slackware, and the department purchased some pentium PCs to be used with Linux.
The beginnings were a bit rough (the SiS graphics cards were not recognized by X and had to be replaced with Cirrus Logic) but
we had LaTeX, Fortran (as f2c|gcc) Gnuplot and XFig available without using X terminals to connect to IBM or HP servers.
I have written my thesis in LaTeX using emacs on a Linux Slackware PC. Other research institutions (in aerospace engineering) were using Debian Linux at that time. It seems that Debian is preferred by system engineers although I have found it harder to administer than Slackware or RPM based distros (Mandriva and Scientific Linux).
I would say that the great advantage of Slackware for academia is that it installs by default the gfortran compiler, LaTeX, gnuplot, clisp (useful to install GPL Maxima) and XFig. Most other distros force the user to post install all of this (Scientific Linux being an exception). The collection of Slackbuilds for academic software is also convenient. Software that can be useful for academia includes plotting tools (Xmgrace, plotutils) molecule visualization (Rasmol, Molmol,xmakemol) fortran libraries (Slatec,CERN library,BLAS/Lapack) computer algebra software (Axiom, Maxima, Reduce) numerical software (Scilab,Octave,Yorick) various latex packages (Revtex of American Physical Society, beamer and beamerposter). It would be good to draw a list of such software to see which Slackbuilds are needed (either to build the software or build the libraries it depends on) and keep it for instance on a pinned thread in this forum or in the slackware wiki.
 
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:26 AM   #48
elcore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorig View Post
It would be good to draw a list of such software to see which Slackbuilds are needed (either to build the software or build the libraries it depends on) and keep it for instance on a pinned thread in this forum or in the slackware wiki.
Not even the kernel thread is relevant enough to be pinned. I asked a year ago, nobody pinned it.
And the kernel is used by everyone here, there isn't a single system without a kernel.
I agree about the wiki though, if you write such a thing it should probably end up there so that others can benefit.
 
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:40 PM   #49
Richard Cranium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorig View Post
It would be good to draw a list of such software to see which Slackbuilds are needed (either to build the software or build the libraries it depends on) and keep it for instance on a pinned thread in this forum or in the slackware wiki.
I think it would be relatively easy to create an entry at Slackbuilds.org which would build a package with nothing executable in it that nonetheless had the stuff needed as dependencies.
 
Old 04-22-2019, 03:15 AM   #50
Ilgar
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I'm a mathemacian and I've been using Unix/Linux since 1997. I switched to Slackware in 2004. My work does not require Linux in a fundamental way, but as someone who regularly uses LaTeX I feel myself at home when using Linux (I stick to Slackware specifically to keep my sanity ). What I use most for work are TeXlive, LyX, Octave and Maxima, all easily available.
 
Old 04-22-2019, 06:05 AM   #51
pocker
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Hello folks,

I started using linux in 2002. My first distro was Slackware and, in a multi-boot system, I tried Debian, *buntu, VectorLinux and XandroOS. Slacware is the best and I did my undergraduate and master in mathematics using it.

Back in 2010 (or 2011) I switched to Mint (Debian Edition 1 with Mate DE), maybe because of TeXLive (can't remember right now). I did my PhD, also in math, using it.

My main use of linux is LaTeX (with emacs/auctex as editor) and Matlab/Octave.
Besides, openoffice and firefox.

Now, I'm still using Mint (Debian Edition 3, again with Mate DE) but I want to come back to Slackware. But I will wait Slackware 15.0 come out.
(Well, LMDE-3 is not as good as LMDE-1, which, by the way, is not as good as Slack)

I can anticipate this action and I will use this space to ask a couple of things:

i) Is the (live?) edition created by Alien BoB based on -current?

ii) If "yes", can it be installed on harddrive?

iii) Does it come with TexLive?

Kind regards,
Pocker

P.S.: English is not my first language. Sorry for any mistake.
 
Old 04-22-2019, 06:16 AM   #52
Lysander666
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Could someone explain a little bit about LaTeX and its usefulness in academia? I've looked into it but never really understood it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pocker View Post

I can anticipate this action and I will use this space to ask a couple of things:

i) Is the (live?) edition created by Alien BoB based on -current?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pocker View Post
ii) If "yes", can it be installed on harddrive?
It can [as far as I understand one can install KDE, MATE etc from the live .iso but not Xfce], by running the setup2hd script. However, it also depends on what kind of drive you have. I could not get it to work with my NVMe drive.

I used Eric's snapshot .iso rather than the live edition, which installed perfectly on NVMe using the standard installer and one can install Xfce through it too:

http://bear.alienbase.nl/mirrors/sla...4-current-iso/

Quote:
Originally Posted by pocker View Post
iii) Does it come with TexLive?
Code:
lysander@lysultra-vi:~$ ls /var/log/packages | grep texlive
texlive-2018.180822-x86_64-5

Last edited by Lysander666; 04-22-2019 at 06:21 AM.
 
Old 04-22-2019, 06:45 AM   #53
kgha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander666 View Post
Could someone explain a little bit about LaTeX and its usefulness in academia? I've looked into it but never really understood it.
Agree. For me, the thinking process is the important thing in academic writing. The writing tool is of minor importance. I'm perfectly happy using any ordinary office suite. I've edited and layouted a few proceedings volumes using MSWord, with the finished document converted to pdf and delivered to the printer, and that wasn't particularly hard. For a sample (texts in various Scandinavian languages, but you'll get an idea of the layout job if you're interested), see http://hh.diva-portal.org/smash/get/...FULLTEXT01.pdf

Might be different for mathematicians and others that have to include mathematical formulae but in my field I don't have to bother about that.
 
Old 04-22-2019, 09:20 AM   #54
keithpeter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander666 View Post
Could someone explain a little bit about LaTeX and its usefulness in academia? I've looked into it but never really understood it.
LaTeX separates the content from the appearance in the sense that you type codes into a text file to 'mark up' your text and then 'compile' your publication as a pdf file. It is a bit like writing a program in C to do a calculation rather than using a spreadsheet. You could say it is like typing html compared to using (say) the Composer tool in Seamonkey, but LaTeX and the underlying TeX code can support calculations and sort algorithms &c so it is more powerful than html.

Because of the programability, people have contributed all kinds of packages that extend the functionality. A full install of TexLive 2018 comes in at 5Gb of packages, fonts and documentation. The package selection that is part of Current is smaller and covers most uses. These extra packages include graphical systems for producing diagrams by typing code, and musical score tools as already mentioned up the thread I think. Other people have written graphical 'what you see is sort of what you might end up with' interfaces for LaTeX, Lyx being a popular one. The core is the ability to produce publication quality maths of course. You have no idea how primitive maths publishing was before Troff/eqn and TeX came on the scene late 70s early 80s.

LaTeX comes with various 'styles' and 'document types' so you can't/don't have to make decisions about the layout and sections of whatever you are writing. Scientific writing is highly structured and lends itself to this kind of approach. Some of the journals actually provide style files, and I suspect that this, along with the way LaTeX forces/allows you to stick to a pre-defined structure, is part of the popularity in science/maths.

You can change the parameters you give to a document type or style and completely change the layout of the resulting document without having to retype anything.

I'm sort of interested in using LaTeX over the summer to re-write my basic maths course guides so that I can produce landscape format pdfs with internal hyperlinks for tablet use, and large type format pdfs for visually impaired students as well as A4 format pdfs for other students. One source file, several compiles. At present, I use Open/LibreOffice but changing the format and style hierarchy is a pain.

I think that if someone is happy with the tools that they have already then they should just carry on using them! Less overhead learning new systems, especially one that might need a radically different workflow.

Might be worth looking at pandoc. Pandoc can convert between a range of kinds of document.
 
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:59 AM   #55
montagdude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgha View Post
Agree. For me, the thinking process is the important thing in academic writing. The writing tool is of minor importance. I'm perfectly happy using any ordinary office suite. I've edited and layouted a few proceedings volumes using MSWord, with the finished document converted to pdf and delivered to the printer, and that wasn't particularly hard. For a sample (texts in various Scandinavian languages, but you'll get an idea of the layout job if you're interested), see http://hh.diva-portal.org/smash/get/...FULLTEXT01.pdf

Might be different for mathematicians and others that have to include mathematical formulae but in my field I don't have to bother about that.
In Word or other office suite, creating nice looking documents with figures and tables in the right spots is a huge pain. You may get everything laid out correctly, then realize you need to add a sentence somewhere earlier in the document, and suddenly your layout is broken and looks horrible. LaTeX takes care of this for you. Another huge benefit is referencing figures, tables, equations, sections, citations, etc. In LaTeX, you just create a reference for any of these elements and then type it at any point you need to reference said element. (No manually typing "Figure 12," for example - you would type something like "Figure \ref{figlabel}" instead.) LaTeX takes care of resolving these references and creating their numbering at compile time. In Word, this is also a huge pain. BibTex is also a godsend for doing citations. It takes care of numbering in the same way, plus it takes care of formatting the final list in whichever style you select.

If this stuff doesn't seem like a big deal, I invite you to learn LaTeX and then use it to actually write an article. You will quickly realize how much pain you have been enduring with Word.

The downside of LaTeX is when you need fine-grained control over the layout. That kind of thing is much easier in Word. But usually for scientific writing, you just use the style files provided by the journal/university/department/institution.

Last edited by montagdude; 04-22-2019 at 10:02 AM.
 
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:17 AM   #56
upnort
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Quote:
In Word or other office suite, creating nice looking documents with figures and tables in the right spots is a huge pain. You may get everything laid out correctly, then realize you need to add a sentence somewhere earlier in the document, and suddenly your layout is broken and looks horrible.
Without defending word processors or attacking LaTeX, most often the reason for format explosions in word processors is the user does not know how to use style tags and templates. I started using both back in my WordPerfect for DOS days. I never experienced the issues described by many people, including headers and footers.

Quote:
LaTeX separates the content from the appearance
Separating content and appearance, that is, single source of content and producing different formats, has for decades been the Holy Grail of structured writing. This was the goal of SGML, but to this day, remains a challenge. A simple example is reading PDF documents. Notice how many PDFs produced in the Linux world contain headings that do not stay with the first sentence of the following paragraph but instead are orphaned at the bottom of the page.
 
Old 04-22-2019, 10:58 AM   #57
sombragris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocker View Post

iii) Does it come with TexLive?
About this question, and this answer:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander666 View Post
Code:
lysander@lysultra-vi:~$ ls /var/log/packages | grep texlive
texlive-2018.180822-x86_64-5
Great answer, but allow me to nitpick.

Please be advised that the current TeXlive distribution in Slackware-current is engineered according to @franzen, whose kind efforts deserve much appreciation.

Accordingly, the package mentioned by @Lysander666 is only the base package. If you really want to have the full TeXLive distribution as adapted for Slackware, you should also install texlive-docs and texlive-extra from SBo.
 
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:26 AM   #58
Gerard Lally
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upnort View Post
Notice how many PDFs produced in the Linux world contain headings that do not stay with the first sentence of the following paragraph but instead are orphaned at the bottom of the page.
I hadn't noticed that but I did notice how appalling the Red Hat documentation in PDF format is, typographically speaking. You'd have thought a one billion dollar business could afford to put documentation together that was pleasing to the eye, not to mention acceptable to paying customers. They really had to export PDFs from LibreOffice when TeX, ConTeXT, groff, asciidoctor are available?
 
Old 04-22-2019, 11:40 AM   #59
Gerard Lally
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander666 View Post
Could someone explain a little bit about LaTeX and its usefulness in academia? I've looked into it but never really understood it.
LaTeX is TeX made easy. If you want to know the rationale for developing TeX, it suffices to know that Donald Knuth was appalled to see how badly his manuscript looked when the book was printed. Typography is important: to present ideas at graduate level with second-rate tools like office suites casts a shadow over the ideas themselves.

Contrast Word and LaTeX output here.

More links here.

I prefer groff with Peter Schaffter's mom macros myself; much smaller, and typographically just as pleasing. I also consider ConTeXT superior to LaTeX, but documentation is a little scattered.

(It seems Peter's website is down; hopefully it's just temporary.)

Last edited by Gerard Lally; 04-22-2019 at 12:02 PM.
 
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:44 AM   #60
pocker
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@Lysander666 and @sombragris Thank you for the anwsers.

My 2 cents about using LaTeX:

@kgha I took a look at the book you mentioned and will use it as example.

At page 257 there is a figure named "Figur 1." Another at p. 265, "Figur 2." and at p. 267 another figure, "Figur 3."

If you insert a new figure, between "Figur. 1" and "Figur 2", LaTeX will automaticaly rename the old 2 and 3, as 3 and 4.
Also, all references to those figures will be updated.
Also, if you have a "list of figures", latex will update it.

You only care about the content itself. Numbers, references, etc., is not to be a concern, it is a "latex obligation"

Now, imagine that you have a book with several chapters, full with figures, tables, etc. And for some reason you need to remove chapter 2. The work to correct all numberings and references to figures from chapter 3 to the end of the book will be amazing (in the bad sense).
Latex do this in a matter of seconds.

Also, equations and formulae are much better displayed in LaTeX (compared to MSWord and LibreOffice).

Nevertheless, I do agree that LaTeX can be almost useless if you want to write memos or other things that are more "text" and less "math".

Take a look at this article (it is open access) https://www.mdpi.com/2227-7390/7/4/364/pdf

All numbers (used to ref. equations, bibliography, "definitions", "theorems", etc) were gererated by LaTeX.
In the "source code" those numbers does not appear.
Hence, if you remove, e.g., one equation, all others will be updated automaticaly.

LaTeX is almost a programming language since you have "source codes" and it needs to be "compiled" or "latexed". The result will be a DVI file or a PDF file.

Anyway, it has a lot of pros and some cons also. Your need will tell you if you need latex or not

Last edited by pocker; 04-22-2019 at 11:58 AM.
 
  


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