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  • Jul 11 2015 18:57
    johannesbottcher commented #3
  • Jul 11 2015 17:23
    vermiculus commented #3
  • Jul 11 2015 16:26
    johannesbottcher commented #3
  • Jul 11 2015 16:06
    vermiculus commented #2
  • Jul 11 2015 16:06
    vermiculus opened #3
James Allen
@jpallen
I'm on of the co-founders of ShareLaTeX, and I think this is a great initiative. Most of the templates we host are given to us by users, and haven't been written by us. You're right that there is a lot of low quality, bad practice stuff in there. It's still useful, but doesn't help with promoting good standards.
I've always thought that it would be great if we could have a standard set of macros for e.g. a thesis, a paper, a letter, etc and then there would be one template for each showing how to use these standard macros, and the format would be controlled by different classes (as LaTeX should be). I've spoken to the folks at Overleaf about this a few times, but it's never really gone anywhere due to lack of time and it not being a priority.
However, I think that we (us, Overleaf and latextemplates.org) are in a position to make something happen here since I'd guess that together we're the 3 biggest sources of templates. What would be required would essentially be an agreement on some best-practice way of putting together these templates, and then an effort to convert the existing templates to this best practice way. It sounds like you're tackling the former here (coming up with best practices?) which is great! I think there's still a huge amount of effort in getting a large body of templates out there using it though.
johannesbottcher
@johannesbottcher
Yet another place where this specific topic is discussed and i have to say, i don't like that. We have to try to keep this in one place i think. If we cannot agree on this simple matter, how will there be an agreement on templates and best practice? To be honest, i would have waited to reach out to the template providers till after Darmstadt.
What happens, if this room has reached its user limit?
I have to say, i am very happy and thankful that Vel, Overleaf and ShareLaTeX want to join the discussion and help to improve the overall situation.
johannesbottcher
@johannesbottcher
Question to all: Should a template have a license, and if so, which? Should a template introduce itself as a template in a meta-comment? When does a template stops being a template and getting a personal document? google lists thousands of files stating: % This is a simple template for a LaTeX document using the "article" class. where the user simply did not remove that comment. I guess we all agree, that there aren't so many templates.
Sean Allred
@vermiculus

@johannesbottcher I don't like the fragmentation either, but as I noted on Twitter, the existing options were undesirable (in my opinion):

  • Clemens runs a fantastic blog, but the forum infrastructure he uses is lacking in usability (sorry!)
  • SE chat is great from a usability perspective, but puts a very restrictive cap on message length. As far as I know, it's also impossible to use higher elements of markdown.

Gitter chat does not have a user cap for public repositories and this room in particular has the advantage of being linked to a presentation-agnostic source of TeX examples, etc.

Clemens is noting on Twitter:
I'll point out that there is only one topic here (not too broad, I think) and most Gitter rooms I'm in are hardly synchronous chat.
Clemens Niederberger
@cgnieder
It's easier here than on twitter: I find a chat not very useful for a discussion in terms of a) structured discussion topics b) finding topics again. (I hate it to search TeX.sx chat for a certain message I know is in there somewhere)
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@cgnieder That's where the integration with GitHub issues comes in handy, e.g. #1
Clemens Niederberger
@cgnieder
There is only one topic with a lot of subtopics already
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@cgnieder What are the subtopics? Most of the conversation is meta so far.
This message was deleted
Clemens Niederberger
@cgnieder
As you say: most. there already are some practical suggestions which are another thread to discuss than what e.g. best practices might be or @johannesbottcher question above about a licence (yet another thread). I find it hard to follow the different questions already!
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@jpallen User-submitted templates are something to keep in mind. One of TeX's greatest strengths is the diversity of its user-base (many STEM users, but also many other/hobbyist users) – letting them contribute is something that should be maintained. I think though that as far as a backend is concerned, pull requests are ideal. Front-ends can offer solutions for users (that are not registered with GitHub, for instance) to submit a template and a PR is created from that by a bot. @gitter-badger is such a user.
Clemens Niederberger
@cgnieder
I don't insist on a forum (and of course not on mine, although it doesn't work much differently than latex-community.org/forum) of course, but I believe it would be easier to have structured discussion in a forum. Even a mailing list would be an easier alternative to a chat IMHO
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@cgnieder The licensing question is of course on-topic and I wouldn't mind keeping it purely in-chat, but this is perhaps something that should be more persistent and available so – I'v made #2 to facilitate that.
@cgnieder My point is that the conversation is split into 'what to do about the actual problem at hand' and 'where to talk about this information'. The second is meta and rightly confuses matters, but it's transient: that will go away once there is agreement.
Clemens Niederberger
@cgnieder
@vermiculus »forum infrastructure he uses is lacking in usability (sorry!)« can you explain this in more detail? Otherwise there's no improvement. I am using the very well known bbpress infrastructure so I'm sure things can be improved (I'm interested in this regardless on how or where the discussion will take place in the end…)
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@cgnieder As we know from Word and friends, being well-known doesn't mean being the best tool for the job ;) I found it very difficult to add terse formatting from my keyboard. One of the reasons I'm a big fan of markdown is because markdown-styled text is simple to read while composing and provides all the markup elements you'll reasonably use with accessible syntax.
@cgnieder Hehehey, look at that. Can you join this room? https://gitter.im/vermiculus/texample/best-place-for-discussion
Clemens Niederberger
@cgnieder
@vermiculus Ah so you don't like BBCode and similar tags? That has nothing to do with the forum infrastructure, though
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
I set it 'private', but I think that means anyone in this room can join
Clemens Niederberger
@cgnieder
@vermiculus yet another chat room? yet another place to discuss? :(
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@cgnieder You wanted a subforum :P
That emoticon is far jollier than I intended it to be.
The channel is still owned by this room.
I'm frankly not seeing the difference between a new channel here and a new forum there.
(Except my usability notes, which I'm hesitant to post now because I'm not sure where you want them.)
Clemens Niederberger
@cgnieder
@vermiculus I don't want one, I want ten, twenty, … and one place which is like a table of contents so I can quickly see all open topics to be discussed :)
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@cgnieder There's a way to list channels under a room in the API – I'm sure there's an implementation of that here.
I've asked on Twitter.
Clemens Niederberger
@cgnieder
@vermiculus »well known« was the wrong wording: as far as I know it's the best maintained and developed forum software for WP I've come across so far. I'm not trying to convince you anymore, though :) You don't like forums for discussion, I don't like chats. I've made my point clear and you yours so let's wait what others have to say and then the majority decides.
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@cgnieder probably best :)
johannesbottcher
@johannesbottcher
As Barbara Beeton was one of the first users i came across taking an interest in improving the current situation (templates and get users started easily) many months ago, i'd really like to hear her input. As far as i know, she wanted to have the discussion in Darmstadt first, taking all needed measures afterwards. Somehow, the whole deal got a bit out of hand too quickly and hence went chaotic. I suggest to pace ourselves, defer all serious discussion (best preactice, licensing, finding a nomenclature etc.) till everything is set up. For me, this is a project i take seriously and there is no use in starting off quickly and fading away.
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@johannesbottcher Sounds wise. I really wish I could have gone to Darmstadt!
johannesbottcher
@johannesbottcher
I guess we all realize, that the whole thing will be a never ending story. The current situation has a long tradition, we have to introduce changes bit by bit anyway.

test

test *Ah, nice, i can make a paragraph to structure my message and keep my points closely together.

Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@johannesbottcher test passed
@johannesbottcher "A project that does not change over time is dead."
johannesbottcher
@johannesbottcher
@Sean How can i permalink one specific comment?
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@johannesbottcher Click the time
That changes the URL
johannesbottcher
@johannesbottcher
@vermiculus Thanks, i did not notice the url changing :- )
Sean Allred
@vermiculus
@johannesbottcher Easy to miss – it's something gitter could do better (though I have no useful suggestions for how) :)
Sean Allred
@vermiculus

@johannesbottcher

I suggest to pace ourselves, defer all serious discussion (best practice, licensing, finding a nomenclature etc.) till everything is set up. For me, this is a project i take seriously and there is no use in starting off quickly and fading away.

Should this preclude opening questions (e.g. #2, #3)? I kinda acted before I thought with those, though I do think having ready questions to pick from for conversation is useful.