The path to Nirvana: latex-beamer

Anytime I have to prepare slides for a presentation I use the superior solution: Latex Beamer. This class has a way of always impressing me with its capabilities.

Usually I’m fine with the default theme, but this time I wanted to add a sidebar to my slides. I thought it would look cool. I used a theme called “Hannover”, which I found very nice and clean. My \author command usually holds my name and email. This looks fine on the cover slide, but since the Hannover theme puts the author name in the sidebar as well, my email address streched outside the sidebar. It didn’t look good at all.

But, hey this is Latex. And this is the beamer class. The solution is to use this command: \author[short name]{long name}. I use my full name as my “short name” and my name and email as my “long name”. Problem solved.

Published in: on 2006.09.20 at 09:53  Leave a Comment  

Back to Latex

I always used to love Latex. There was a time that everything I wrote was done in Latex.

For some odd reason that I still can’t comprehend, I began using Docbook more and more a few years ago. I guess I was swept away by the “XML is great so we must use it for everything” wave. Maybe I was also influenced by the fact that many documentation projects use Docbook. And if everybody else is using it, then it must be good, right? Wrong.

I am working on writing some training manuals on Ruby, and I started off in Docbook. But Docbook always gets in your face. There are more tags than text in the document. Obviously you spend most of your time typing tags. That is, when you are not busy looking through the list of available tags, trying to find a suitable one.

But that’s only the beginning. Next you will have to fight with xsltproc (usually not a big problem) and fop (usually a very big problem). The output quality leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve tried several times to get syntax highlighted code inserted into my documents, but each time it has failed miserably.

Before anybody complains: I know that Docbook is superior and that Latex is old, outdated and useless. But I really don’t care. I can get actual work done in Latex, it doesn’t constantly annoy me and it actually makes working on documents fun. Getting PDFs is a breeze and the output quality is high. Syntax highlighted code is not a problem at all, with the great listings package.

To conclude: I’m back to using Latex, and I am absolutely loving it. If you are also frustrated with Docbook and its toolchain, maybe you should look into Latex. The mindless drones will of course do everything they can to keep you using Docbook, but don’t mind them.

Published in: on 2006.09.13 at 19:38  Comments (1)