LaTeX is shit

February 12, 2022 18:12

Here is my list of problems…

  • Bad parameter transfer: {} is so illegible in quantities
  • Commands are illegible: In LibreOffice I write e in R or m = abs (M) and have what I want. Done.
  • Nesting is shitty to read: If it ends with }}})} you have a lot of fun!
  • Not live: Okay, I’ll put it behind bracket number four… Wait five seconds… Damn, put it next to it and again… - And only when Overleaf isn’t going crazy!
  • Hmm, we have a style parameter with {}. THEN LET’S GO BRUTAL. Elsewhere you can add " " for a string or space to be respected, which does not affect the reading flow. But {} - here you are always forced to {}. For. Every. Shit.
  • LaTeX does a lot for you - if you don’t want that, you have to deal with warnings and complaints.
  • Unintuitive syntax: \subtitle * {BS} - you have an idea what * is doing here? No. Neither do I - but please do not include a readable parameter or other command for it - because LaTeX!
  • Just open it offline? With pleasure. Then I’ll just download the 1-2GB LaTeX compiler collection. LibreOffice, for example, is 500 MB in size - and that with a complete GUI, image processing and spreadsheets!
  • Okay, \rightarrow etc. is nice - but did you know that you can also pass parameters to that?!? At least that’s Overleaf.
  • And LaTeX tries to be able to do everything: Instead of dividing the standard into math, markup, graphics, etc., you have to be careful that math commands are available in the text flow, but do not do what they should -> simply prevents context-based simplification.
  • And I don’t think that it can be easily expanded - in LibreOffice? I want to embed an auto-updating website screenshot? Sure thing. In the worst case add a Python script as a plugin. Done. Latex? Nope.
  • And yes, I’ve already seen one or the other LaTeX text - how did I recognize it? Images from the following chapters have ended up in the previous ones. Why? Because LaTeX felt it was “more suitable”.
  • …this gets even worse if you try to separate two chapters by introducing a new page starting with your headline (using \newpage): Now you have a new page with your new chapter AND the graphics from the previous chapter! Try using \clearpage - it does not clear, but flush instead!
  • Shitty to archive: Oh, I opened an old document - let’s hope that the exotic plugins (which you use very quickly, because LaTeX ends very quickly) can still be found somewhere … LibreOffice etc? The document from 1999 still just works - Word even down to the first version. And for archiving, it is sufficient to save the portable version as well. Done. Latex? Have fun scraping together all the extensions from the most diverse corners.
  • LibreOffice has a document. It has everything used in it: fonts, images - everything. I open it for myself and it does for you too. Done. LaTeX you have to push everything around somehow - not to mention that one LaTeX compiler may not swallow the x format like the other.
  • Include media? With pleasure: Just no two clicks with clear submenus. But HELL NO, you need to integrate a plugin and then google elsewhere what the damn alignment command for images with that specific plugin is. Because there is another command for text based alignment.
  • Copy&Paste from LaTeX documents? No! Try it for yourself, you’ll may find spontaneously missing underscores or reordered letters. Also good luck selecting tables - they only look like them!
  • Did you know that LaTeX will always rescale your images? There is no way to turn it off, except…
  • …to prevent image rescaling you have to convert them to a PDF. These won’t be scaled in any way, as LaTeX is currently not supporting this. Now imagine you learn this after you are already using >42 images and you now have to painstakingly convert them.
  • Change DPI? Nope, just does not do anything. Because why should the recommended command work?
  • An other way to prevent image rescaling is to use vector graphics - which is fine. EXCEPT that LaTeX does not support SVG (which is THE filetype used in browsers, fonts, icon packs…) and it is recommended… To use PDF.
  • PDF optimization does not exist. You have a complex PDF-graph by mathplotlib? Let it slow down and crash the reader. But GOD FORBID you have a png-image, that MUST be scaled down so no text is readible anymore!
  • Sometimes the text placement on pages is just… weird.
  • BibTeX. A tool for standardized citations. But - ITS OWN FORMAT IS NOT STANDARDIZED! Beside questionable historic categories, nobody seems to know which tokens should be used when…
  • Also BibTeX: It is 2022 now (or maybe even later) and this package does not even come with URL (or URI) support (you know, often enough you need to use this). You need to search the internet to find a suitable replacement. Again.
  • Your professor gives you a LaTeX template you are forced to use - okay! Just import it and use it, right? NO! I imported it into Overleaf (because I still refuse to install that crap) and all formatting is broken and packages are missing. So much for portability!
  • Inside some documents/fonts charaters like ff, ti or ft are represented using a special remapped character - resulting in a broken search feature as you e.g. would need to enter to search for ff, e.g. “scaffold” must be searched as “sca←old”. Imgaine the pain with words containing a “-tion” or special characters you can’t enter!

…not bad?

  • Okay, it’s nice that I can script my documents too.
  • Okay, yes the source can be versioned well via Git.

That would be all. Let’s see what else I find in the future.