Struggling to use linux in college - GNU/Linux
mrnd
Pandoc was already mentioned, but I'd like to reiterate on it's usefulness. Markdown -> PDF is extremely useful, but when minimal formatting is allowed and professors require editable document, Pandoc can also export to .DOCX. This has been a real lifesaver for me. Similarly simple powerpoints can also be written in markdown.

If nicer formatting is required, you can also write/find nice templates for most formats.

It also often works the other way around: It's quite common that I'm sent simple Word-documents that are quickest to view by converting them to markdown.
xero
(15-01-2018, 08:05 AM)josuah Wrote: I also wrote html directly ...

The popularity of the WWW made html easy to convert to .docx formats, and all the document structure, and maybe even the CSS, is preserved.

i didn't want to suggest this, but i have to admit, i did this at uni as well. i'm well versed in the language(s) of the web, and making a well formatted document w/ images and texts that wrapped around them was far easier for me using html. then i just used the browser's print to pdf option and sub'ed it.
fraun
Adding my two cents on the latex front, I'm currently using it every day while finishing my PhD thesis. I couldn't imagine using a wysiwyg editor for something so long, but for me the main allure of latex for me is the options for referencing. Using bibtex and the like are (to me) leagues ahead of endnote and similar, especially with >150 refs.
Latex is certainly not something that I see myself using daily in the future, but for reports >50 pages I wouldn't use anything else.

Also
(11-01-2018, 03:16 PM)rocx Wrote:
(11-01-2018, 02:59 PM)Houseoftea Wrote: The allure of LaTeX to me is in the separation of text and formatting.

Ha. Good one. It takes discipline to actually separate those concerns even in something like TeX otherwise every few lines you'll render the paper to see how it looks after those changes. Then you'll be back into the WSYWY{M,G} camp.

This was definitely me in my undergrad with tables and figures, but you definitely get out of it and just focus on the writing once you're confident of the render.

Finally, like markdown another benefit over .docx is version control.
josuah
So in the end, simple text formats win: Easy to parse, they can be converted to whatever society come up with to publish documents.

Whatever Text Format (WTF™) -{Pandoc, Emacs, whatnot}-> LaTeX, HTML, Troff... -{pandoc, LaTeX toolsuite, web browser, GUI word processor}-> PDF, DOCX

Man pages anyone? Auto-generated man pages are rarely of an extremely good quality. I guess it might sometimes be the same for PDF and DOCX.

mandoc added -T pdf support to export pdfs that do not have anything binary (non-text), more readable, but still hard to come back to the previous format.
Whatever you choose it might be better to keep the original sources.

Code:
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fraun
(18-01-2018, 10:40 AM)josuah Wrote: Whatever you choose it might be better to keep the original sources.

Definitely, have you ever tried to copy and paste from a pdf to a txt document? Especially ones with any columns, tables or figures.
spoonm
Some of my assignments don't even require formatting, and while everyone in my class seems to have a Microsoft Word fetish, I always ask the teacher if it's okay to send them a plain text file. Problem with that is for a while I forgot about line terminations and was graded 0/100 for a few assignments I hadn't unix2dos'd.

Other than that, my teachers just don't want to comply with any requests. If we're using some tool of their choosing and the .exe files are provided through the local network, I ask them "is it available outside Windows?" and they ask me "why would you not use Windows?". When all their documents are .docx and .ppt files and I ask if I can maybe have a PDF, they tell me "use Microsoft Office or ask a classmate for pictures, I'm not converting anything".

That about sums it up for my experience of not using Windows in uni. I keep trying, but always get this kind of "you must submit to my standards" response rather than decency.
Houseoftea
(28-01-2018, 12:50 PM)spoonm Wrote: but always get this kind of "you must submit to my standards" response rather than decency

I've had a similar experience, lot of teachers just are ignorant to alternatives to the windows ecosystem, or can't be bothered to adjust to alternative styles of submission.
fraun
(28-01-2018, 01:17 PM)Houseoftea Wrote:
(28-01-2018, 12:50 PM)spoonm Wrote: but always get this kind of "you must submit to my standards" response rather than decency

I've had a similar experience, lot of teachers just are ignorant to alternatives to the windows ecosystem, or can't be bothered to adjust to alternative styles of submission.

Do you think this is subject / country(?) dependant? In my undergrad degree in Physics people were *way* more open to linux in general and most supplied notes from lecturers that were clearly written in latex.

Moving to Engineering for my PhD has made me see how against linux, against non-microsoft software and against non .dotx, .pptx file formats people can be.
spoonm
(29-01-2018, 11:50 AM)fraun Wrote:
(28-01-2018, 01:17 PM)Houseoftea Wrote:
(28-01-2018, 12:50 PM)spoonm Wrote: but always get this kind of "you must submit to my standards" response rather than decency

I've had a similar experience, lot of teachers just are ignorant to alternatives to the windows ecosystem, or can't be bothered to adjust to alternative styles of submission.

Do you think this is subject / country(?) dependant? In my undergrad degree in Physics people were *way* more open to linux in general and most supplied notes from lecturers that were clearly written in latex.

Moving to Engineering for my PhD has made me see how against linux, against non-microsoft software and against non .dotx, .pptx file formats people can be.

It probably has to do with many different factors: here in Brazil some people outside the context of IT are(or were) driven to Linux because they're told it runs better on the machines they can afford, and it was free. Then computers became a little cheaper and I hear nothing of that anymore. People in Mathematics in my uni use LaTeX. They don't use Linux, though. 2 out of 8 people in my uni's software development laboratory use Ubuntu.

Your average Joe doesn't know what Linux is. Your average Joe doesn't know there are office suites other than Microsoft Office. As for people in IT and related fields, most see Linux as "the server command line". Teachers all use and recommend software for Windows because that's what people are used to, and my university in particular has ties to Microsoft and Dell through contracts: they use Dell laptops running Windows 10, and every student has a small discount on Dell computers they want to buy.

So I think these are in place:

+ *Economic situation* in the early 2000s drove some Brazilians towards systems other than Windows.
+ Servers are seen as *Linux territory*, and people in IT "learn it" so they can get jobs that involve Linux.
- Windows *comes pre-installed* on every computer nowadays.
- Microsoft has *contracts that tie institutions to Microsoft software*.
- *People don't even know what operating systems are*, let alone that there are more than Windows.
Houseoftea
(29-01-2018, 11:50 AM)fraun Wrote: Do you think this is subject / country(?) dependant?

Very much so.
At my university most comp sci/physics/hard stem students will use linux (mostly *buntu)
Though there is this one guy who has arch+i3 that no one likes.
Most humanities and arts students have apple products. (macbook air/pro)

Something worth noting is that apple products have become a status symbol among college students in the states. Not having a macbook is equivalent to a declaration of poverty.




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