[racket] Integrating scribble and LaTeX

From: Eli Barzilay (eli at barzilay.org)
Date: Thu Jun 23 18:17:20 EDT 2011

Yesterday, Don Blaheta wrote:
> It seems likely that at some point I might have wanted to shift over
> to writing Scribble from scratch.  I may yet do that.  But it's
> going to be a lot harder to make that decision if I can't first dip
> in my toe and make it work with my existing installed base.  It's
> especially hard if I'm not yet sure Scribble can do everything I
> want it to and thus might be required to abandon the effort
> half-done.  And it's not such a strange request (like "why can't
> Scribble work with MS Word" would be), since LaTeX is *precisely
> what Scribble generates*.

But the problem is exactly that it is latex -- a language where you
can't include a whole document in some sane encapsulated way like:


Instead, you need to merge the prefix and suffix requirements of both,
which is never easy.  So while Matthew made it possible to get the
parts separately from scribble, my guess is that if you have some
non-trivial setup for your own latex, then it will be difficult to use
it, or maybe even impossible.  (Given that some latex packages just
don't work with others, leading to annoying breakages.)

It could probably generate more generic latex output, to the point
where it could be embedded more conveniently in random latex files.
It's probably even possible to just start from
scribble/latex-render.rkt and slowly water it down.  But that would
require a heavy cost in terms of lost typesetting features.

So I think that while Robby's suggestion to concatenate PDFs could
sound like he was trying to avoid the question, it was really a good
advice since PDFs are essentially these nice encapsulated chunks of
text that you can easily glue together.

          ((lambda (x) (x x)) (lambda (x) (x x)))          Eli Barzilay:
                    http://barzilay.org/                   Maze is Life!

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