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From Joshua Slive <jos...@slive.ca>
Subject Re: latex status
Date Sun, 15 Jun 2003 00:09:44 GMT

On Sun, 15 Jun 2003, Astrid Ke├čler wrote:
> well, after a quick view some here are some thoughts:

Thanks very much for the comments.

A quick comment of my own:

- LaTeX is not a very flexible system in terms of fine-tuning the
presentation.  It generally creates very nice looking output, but it is
not very amenable to saying things like "I'd like it more if this was just
a little bit more to the left".  That is not to say that fine-tuning is
not possible, it just tends to require fairly intimate knowledge of
TeX/LaTeX -- something that I don't have.

> - I'm not sure about the red color for links. Maybe blue or green would
>   be less obtrusive but also eye-catching.

That's relatively easy; there are hyperref options for the link colors.

> - example boxes are centered, Related Modules/Directives boxes are not.
>   It looks a little bit strange when they occur nearby by each other.
>   Hm, what about streching the related boxes over the whole page?

Easy enough.  I've always hated how the "Related Module/Directives" boxes
looked (both in html and LaTeX), but I haven't come up with anything
better.

As far as examples, one possibility is removing the box and giving them a
grey background instead.  Any opinions on that?

> - Chapter 'Apache Performance Tuning' contains an apppendix, which is
>   well placed there at a single webpage but looks strange in the middle
>   of a big document. I have no sugestion at the moment but want to note
>   it for later reconsidering.

I prefer having it there rather than shoving it to the end of the book.

> - the example boxes at URL Rewriting Guide have no border. It this
>   intended to be?

Hmmm... I'm not at the right computer to check, but I suspect this has to
do with the use of <pre>, which gets translated into a latex "verbatim".
As I've mentioned in other contexts, this is a dangerous environment for a
lot of reasons.

By the way, anyone else noticed how 90% of the complications in
transforming the docs are in stuff written by RSE ;-)

> - I don't like the arrows in front of the notes boxes. The idea is fine
>   but I would prefer another arrow symbol.

The easily available symbols are listed here:
http://www.fi.uib.no/Fysisk/Teori/KURS/WRK/TeX/symALL.html

Of course, it's possible to include an arbitrary symbol using graphics
commands.

My latest version also substitutes an exclamation mark with a box around
it when the <note> is a warning.

> - Would it be possible to have an additional page break only between
>   chapters, not beetween subchapters (i.e. after each xml-document)?

Good question.  It is certainly possible, since that is the default if you
change "book" to "article" in the \documentclass at the top.  But I don't
know how to do that for the book class.

> - some vertical spaces are very big at "virtual host examples" (e.g.
>   page 151)

This is caused by very large examples or tables.  LaTeX will not break a
table (or example) between pages, so it forces the table to the next page
and spreads out the text on the previous page to fill it up.

I see a few possible solutions:

1. Ignore it.

2. It may be possible to use some kind of environment for <example> that
will permit LaTeX to break it between two pages.  But I'm not very
optimistic about that.

3. Do our best to shorten or break-up the examples in the xml source.


> Bah, there are lots of small things to do, as you said. I will stop my
> list for the moment. But the document as whole: yeah, I like it. I
> wouldn't publish it with big words at the moment, but if someone asks
> for it, I would hand out this version.

Yep.  As I've said above, take a look at everything that RSE wrote:
mod_ssl docs, mod_rewrite docs, etc, and you'll find lots of unfortunate
things.

But my opinion that it is almost ready to go public (as in the
dist/httpd/docs/ directory), perhaps with a note on the front noting its
provisional status.


> You won't be the only one. Just after I said I want to help you, one of
> our server machines ran into trouble. Additionally some other problems
> like hunting ants that are trying to take over my home, which is funny
> for everyone except myself, kept me from working on tex. But I'm
> confident to start soon (in a week or two *sigh*)

No problem.  We've been having fun with ants here in in Montreal as well.

Joshua.

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