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MathGroup Archive 2004

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Re: Technical Publishing Made Easy with New Wolfram Publicon Software

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg50281] Re: Technical Publishing Made Easy with New Wolfram Publicon Software
  • From: "Steve Luttrell" <steve_usenet at _removemefirst_luttrell.org.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 06:22:23 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <cg20f3$od7$1@smc.vnet.net> <cgcicp$eo7$1@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

I have already used Publicon to write several papers (I had a busy
weekend!). It fills in a much needed gap that Mathematica itself doesn't
cover, at least not without a great deal of additional effort on my part. As
I see it, Publicon aims to do what Scientific Word does but in a way that is
preferable to Mathematica users.

The several papers I wrote in Publicon were translations from papers I had
already authored in Mathematica, but which I wanted to convert to a form
from which I could easily generate LaTeX (I wanted to submit them to
arXiv.org) I found that I could NOT simply read a Mathematica notebook into
Publicon and have it behave in the same way as a notebook I had created
directly in Publicon (e.g. Save As LaTeX did NOT work cleanly). However, I
did find that copying material across from a Mathematica notebook (using
Copy As Cell Expression) worked very well, but I had to do recreate the
hyperlinks (cross references) afresh within Publicon in order for them to
work correctly there. If I didn't do this then "Gather Backmatter" (which
appears to rely on the special way that Publicon creates its cross
references) did not work correctly.

It would save me a great deal of time if I could automatically generate a
Publicon notebook from a previously generated Mathematica notebook, so that
it behaves as if it had been generated within Publicon in the first place.
Maybe it is possible to design a filter to do this conversion automatically;
this should be possible because there were only a few fairly well-defined
conversion problems I encountered, and which I fixed manually.

I have found NO problems at all in reading a Publicon notebook using
Mathematica. However, it seems that a notebook created using Publicon knows
that it originated there, so that double-clicking on it (in Windows) fires
up Publicon rather than Mathematica (and vice versa for a notebook created
in Mathematica).

Publicon DOES support footnotes. You do "Insert Note" followed by "Gather
Backmatter". The various footnotes (and references) are collected at the end
of the document as backmatter. If you then "Save As LaTeX" you get a TeX
file that compiles to give you the expected footnotes.

To balance out the above positive comments I do have some criticisms. There
are some Publicon message windows that sit on top of all other windows
whatever you do to hide them. There are some characters that don't translate
to LaTeX - e.g. I had to replace \[And] by \[Intersection] to make the
exported LaTeX work correctly. I found that bold font in equations does not
survive in the exported LaTeX, so now my vectors look like scalars. My
habitual use of \[AlignmentMarker] has come home to haunt me because it is
not translated to the (obvious) box form in LaTeX, so the exported LaTeX
does not compile correctly. However, all of these problems are either benign
or else manually fixable.

Anyway, my overall impression of Publicon is very positive. It has a way to
go to equal Scientific Word (which has been around for a while now), but the
basic framework is already there in Publicon, and is very extensible via
custom style sheets to define your own ways of generating LaTeX for
instance; this sort of customisation is easy for someone who is already
familiar with Mathematica's style sheets. I have already used this to create
custom bibliography styles in the exported LaTeX; it works exactly as
advertised.

I hope that Publicon is subsumed into a future release of Mathematica, so
that Mathematica (Publicon) is analogous to a souped up version of
Scientific WorkPlace (Scientific Word) - check out
http://www.sciword.demon.co.uk/ to see what I mean. This would avoid the
time taken to convert from a Mathematica-authored notebook to something that
works correctly in Publicon.

Steve Luttrell

"Bobby R. Treat" <drbob at bigfoot.com> wrote in message
news:cgcicp$eo7$1 at smc.vnet.net...
> This appears to be an elaborate waste of binary bits.
>
> Rather than make Mathematica do pagination right (and a few other
> simple things), they made a new stand-alone LaTex derivative with no
> computational capability.
>
> MUCH of the content I'd likely put into Publicon, if I used it, would
> originate in Mathematica. But conversion is a one-way street.
>
> Note that Publicon doesn't support footnotes; something every word
> processor does do, and something every technical document needs.
>
> On the PLUS side, it's cheap--except in terms of the learning curve.
> The online tour makes using it look very involved.
>
> Bobby
>
> newsdesk at wolfram.com (Wolfram Research) wrote in message
news:<cg20f3$od7$1 at smc.vnet.net>...
> > Technical Publishing Made Easy with New Wolfram Publicon
> > Software
> >
> > Wolfram Publicon, a powerful new publishing tool based on the
> > underlying document technology of Mathematica, is now available
> > to purchase as a download for Windows and Mac OS X.
> >
> > Created for the growing number of academic researchers,
> > students, and industry professionals who need to create
> > precisely formatted technical documents in XML and other
> > structured data formats, Publicon incorporates many exciting
> > features including inline math and chemistry typesetting,
> > publisher-specific style sheets, and a scrolling WYSIWYG
> > interface ideal for online presentation.
> >
> > With Publicon, users can compose more engaging technical
> > documents that intuitively incorporate complex scientific
> > research. Mathematica users will especially appreciate
> > Publicon's unique ability to understand and identify math. All
> > Mathematica work, including dynamic 2D and 3D plots, can be
> > pasted directly into Publicon documents. Publicon will preserve
> > the mathematical content so the work may be evaluated at any
> > time in Mathematica.
> >
> > Heralded as a "major advance" by Open Access publisher BioMed
> > Central, Publicon was built to take the guesswork and hassle out
> > of formatting technical documents for publication. Combining
> > ease of use with cutting-edge technology, Publicon is the first
> > choice for composing structured technical documents for
> > electronic or print publication.
> >
> > For more information, please visit:
> > http://www.wolfram.com/publicon
>



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