Ode to LaTeX

(written on a traintrip with no internet and a document that wouldn’t compile)

Latex is a god forsaken tool and should be banished to the depths of hell from whence it came. How this freak of abominable nature has survived for decades is the damning proof that markets are inefficient.

It was hate at first sight. Who in their right mind would use a tool that requires them to use stack-overflow to insert two images beside each other in the proper size!? I was even more shocked to learn that the majority of research papers are written in latex. No wonder every professor is so busy if they’re spending the majority of their time getting their document to compile.

Okay I’ll give it a rest, but my point stands.

I was joyous to learn that Jeff bezos refused to use latex already in the 80’s for the same reasons I do today. I would have expected 40 years of technological progress would have brought a product all could agree superior.

This is not the case and the reasoning is terrible.

The idea of ‘not worrying about layout’ seems to be born mostly out of the absurd difficulty of actually changing it. Instead of Still most latex documents end up looking far superior to their WYSIWYG counterparts.

It comes down to a small set of wisely chosen defaults. Computer Modern is a beautiful font. The 66 character limit makes for easily readable papers. So what happens when we change a Google Docs document to mimic these settings?

Not bad! Google please hire me and let me build googletex.

Or at the very least put me out of my misery because at this point I’d rather write papers with fingerpaint on roadkill than continue using latex.

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