6 thoughts on “things I got lectured on in law school today”

  1. And TeX is not good because it doesn’t have a proper wizard-driven mail-merge feature that integrates with Excel? ;)

  2. Today I had a colleague loudly announce what Wikipedia page I was editing. LaTeX. No Knuthian pronunciation either, so that was a barrel of laughs to explain to everyone within earshot.

    – Chris

  3. Just blogged on OOo myself…. The two worst things about word I can think of are being locked into MS software (being at their mercy) and lack of standardization (until recently, and they only did it because of ODT) of their formats.

    Would be interesting to know the context of why “lack of choice” is bad? Was it a competition/capitalism meme?

  4. Have you ever tried to write a large, figure and table rich, cross-referenced collaborative document in Word (or OO.o). It’s horrid. Absolutely, mind-bendingly horrid.

  5. I had a prof lecture us about TeX almost 20 years ago when I was a law student at Texas! And just yesterday I had a student ask what I used to prepare my course handouts (LaTeX, of course). Join us, Luis … repent of this WYSIWYG apostasy … if markup is good enough for the web and Wikipedia, it’s good enough for your documents. :-)

    (In a more serious vein: I, too, would have been interested to hear the “free as in freedom” defense of TeX, which would seem to apply equally to Abiword and lots of other things with a less steep learning curve. I think the practical advantage to *TeX is in its line- and page-breaking algorithms, which produce much nicer looking output, but for a lot of people that’s just not much of a selling point. The degree of formatting control TeX provides, particularly with external packages and style files, is also a more substantial plus; but at some level, TeX is like Linux — it’s hard to really grasp the advantages until after you’ve scaled the learning curve, which I suspect can make it a bit of a hard sell.)

Comments are closed.