The recommended LaTeX port?

Polytropon freebsd at
Sun Aug 19 16:30:11 UTC 2018

On Sun, 19 Aug 2018 17:05:55 +0200, Tomasz Rola wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 19, 2018 at 04:13:17PM +0200, Polytropon wrote:
> > On Sun, 19 Aug 2018 20:41:50 +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
> > > Dear Colleagues,
> > > 
> > > Which is *the* \LaTeX distribution for FreeBSD currently?
> > > 
> > > I remember last time I needed \LaTex around a dozen years ago, I used
> > > the teTeX port, but cannot find it now.
> > 
> > This is currect, teTeX has been discontinued. The consensus
> > is to use TeXlive which is in FreeBSD ports, but is offered
> > for many other platforms, too.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > > Cyrillic support is crucial, direct output to PDF is very desirable,
> > > dependency on GUI libs and tools is not desirable.
> > 
> > With TeXlive, you have the same tools (and more packages)
> In particular, pdftex and pdflatex are part of my TeXlive
> installation. Although I would probably try a bit more traditional way
> first, i.e. latex -> dvi -> dvips -> some ps2pdf converter, I have no
> idea which "ps2pdf" is better/best. There is also dvipdf. Manpage for
> pdftex mentions problems with including *.eps figures and *.ps files,
> if you want to use those, they need to be converted to pdf files
> first. 

The pdflatex command seems to be the most convenient
tool to create PDF files (which are used quite often).
For a more precise control in pre-print / print, the
toolchain as described above works very good.

> Disclaimer: I only used pdftex in a simple converter script,
> scrambling many jpgs into one pdf file, so I have no other real life
> experience with it.

For that specific tast, you can use convert (from ImageMagick),
if you don't need any specific resize / rotate / border /
annotation / description / file information / bar code /
page number / ... features.

> A practical note: I tend to have bigger latex documents in multiple
> files (one chapter = one file) and keep it organized via
> Makefile. This can help a lot if one has to convert files, recompute
> datas and redo plots few times a day.

I also use the approach to (ab)use Makefile to control
processing and output for bigger projects - only things
that _need_ updating will be updated, like images or
texts. You can automate a lot of stuff during pre-print
stage; even a "make install" to upload result files is
possible. :-)

> [...]
> > On Sun, 19 Aug 2018 20:53:46 +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
> > > I forgot to mention that I've tried a couple of online editors like
> > > but they all lacked Cyrillic support
> > > miserably (Cyrillic characters either did not show in the compiled
> > > output, or showed as mojibake).
> > 
> > Just use a normal editor inside a terminal that can input
> > and display cyrillic letters. Even ye olde xterm can do it.
> > Make sure you set your environment variables correctly,
> > i. e., en_US.UTF-8.
> > 
> > I have no idea if LyX, the WYSIWYG variant for LaTeX, is
> > still available. Personally, I prefer YAFIYGI because it
> > works.
> Myself, I think for anything bigger than page of text, emacs is the
> ultimate editor (and I believe it can be setup to handle Cyryllic
> rather easily, but I have never done this).

Tell _that_ to a vi person. ;-)

> I also think that WYSIWYG
> is overhyped. A lot.

Not only that, it results in writers (general term for all
people who create text) to concentrate on form where they
should concentrate on content. You can see that in almost
every piece of business documents (not just presentations).
LaTeX emphasizes the "what it is" over the "what it looks
like". Unlike word processors, LaTeX offers you to create
your own "semantic markup" where you can decide about the
style from the beginning or later on in a O(1) manner,
unlike the typical O(n) microformatting in word processors.
Yes, I know, those also have (limited) abilities to create
your own formats, but nobody actually uses that handy

If you are interested in this topic, check the following

Allin Cottrell:
Word Processors: Stupid and Inefficient

Jeff Goldberg:
MS-Word is Not a document exchange format

And probably those too:'t_send_me_Microsoft_Word_documents

In my opinion, the editor is one of the key elements of
good document creation. The _right_ editor depends on
your workflow, preferences, and experience.

> Of course, using emacs means one has to
> periodically check the document (i.e. in my case, run make or make
> view) - which is inevitable anyway, because there might be some bug in
> a WYSIWYG editor which would only manifest in compiled document. I
> guess it is less problematic if one goes into straight LaTeX markup
> from the start.

The more you use LaTeX, the better you are able to
"render in your head" (just like you can imagine
what the computer will do when you write a program).
This can be more efficient than using WYSIWYG,
especially when you _don't_ get what you see. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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