On Tue, Feb 03, 2004 at 02:22:14PM -0800, Jonathan Lipps wrote: > I've used LaTex (specifically, MikTek) for a lot of symbolic logic problem > sets and papers, and I like it a lot. However, I'm not sure why you would > want to use it in writing a dictionary or if it would be at an advantage > compared to a word processor. [snip] I use LaTeX for the Ebisedian lexicon. There are many reasons for doing so: 1) The LaTeX input is plain text, which makes it easy for external, automated tools to process. E.g., I have a tool that parses the lexicon and checks that the correct word order is used (Ebisedian alphabetic ordering is non-trivial), and that there are no dangling cross-references, etc.. Eventually, I might even have an automatic reverse-lexicon generator that produces an English -> Ebisedian reverse lexicon. This would be extremely painful to do in, eg., Word. (Besides the fact that I wouldn't want to use Word for anything.) 2) LaTeX is about the only word-processing software I know of that can handle multiple custom-made diacritics on the same letter and still have pretty-looking output. 3) Because LaTeX input is plain text, it is easy to write a tool that will automatically convert Ebisedian ASCII orthography (a very ugly beast of which you can see samples below) into LaTeX commands that produce the right symbols, rather than get carpal tunnel syndrome from clicking on pull-down lists of symbols in a GUI-based word processor. 4) LaTeX allows the input file to be split into smaller chunks. This makes it easier to manage something like a lexicon, which can grow to enormous sizes. Currently, the Ebisedian lexicon is split into 36 chunks, corresponding to the 36 letters of the Ebisedian alphabet, based on the initial letter of each word. Each file is under revision control, and I find it more useful to have a separate revision control for each letter in the lexicon than to have everything in one gigantic unmanageable file. 5) LaTeX has a powerful macro system that makes it trivial to add little bells and whistles like something that counts the number of entries in the lexicon and prints it in the appendix. 6) LaTeX has superior formatting above all other software I know of. You can see the results here: http://quickfur.ath.cx:8080/~hsteoh/conlang/lexicon.pdf Or for the PostScript-enabled: http://quickfur.ath.cx:8080/~hsteoh/conlang/lexicon.ps As an example of the superiority of LaTeX, consider the following text, written in Ebisedian ASCII orthography: tww'ma esa'ni erosa'ni t3 zota' katou' ke. zota' cutou' ce. zota' rotou' re. keve ta'ma ebu' n3 Ta'l3n di gh3'. t3m3t3 my'nac3 katui' ke. my'nac3 cutui' ce. my'nac3 rotui' re. Ta'lin. kil3 icu'ro bis33'di. t3m3. The same text formatted by LaTeX can be seen here: http://quickfur.ath.cx:8080/~hsteoh/conlang/Esani-1.pdf I'm sure you'll agree that the LaTeX version is much more pleasant to the eye. I dare anyone to produce the same text in Word with the same or better quality. ;-) T -- Today's society is one of specialization: as you grow, you learn more and more about less and less. Eventually, you know everything about nothing.