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Compatible classes

Postby Cham » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:50 pm

I was always using the same classes before, since the last 8 years I'm using LaTeX : book, exam, scrartcl, and a few uses of article and revtex4 (which I regret).

I'm now in the process of creating a folder of several LaTeX templates for all my future works, trying and testing all the standard classes : article, book, memoir, paper, report, revtex4, scrartcl, scrapbook, scrreprt (I'm not interested in the letter class and exam is well under control up to now). I need to see clearly their output differences and their limitations. I'm now discovering (actually rediscovering !) that memoir and revtex4 (and revtex4-1) may give a lot of troubles when we try to customize stuff.

In the future, I should abandon completely the memoir and revtex4 (and revtex4-1) classes. I want my code to be "scalable" and transferable from one class to another (from a small paper-like work to a book, or the reverse, for example). I've created a lot of separate physics laboratory protocols (using the scrartcl class), and may have to unify them all under a single booklet (using the book class, probably). So having different incompatible codes (because of the memoir or revtex4 class, for example) would be a major complication. My LaTeX codes should be as "universal" as they can be.

So did I made a major mistake (by ignorance) in using the scrartcl to write lots of small documents, if I need to unify them all into a single book class document, or to paste some parts into an article class document ?

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Postby Stefan Kottwitz » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:50 pm

In my opinion scrartcl is the best choice for small article-like documents. Since scrbook is the book companion class to scrartcl, it's closely related and follows the same concepts. So, changing from scrartcl to scrbook can be compared to changing from article to book, such as having chapters, twosided by default, and so on. So, scrartcl is a good choice.

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Postby Cham » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:59 pm

What about scrartcl and book ? And scrapbook and article ? Or more generally : are all the four classes article, book, scrartcl and scrapbook compatible ? I guess they are, once they were made using the same preamble, and they seem to work with the same options. Apart some differences in their output styling, I don't see much differences.

It's not true for any of them and the revtex4-1 and memoir for example. Both of these are giving some troubles if I use the same preamble and they ask for different options/configurations, and even different packages. If I transfer some code from article to revtex4-1, I may have to change a lot of things (codes for multiple figures, for example).

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Postby Johannes_B » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:12 am

memoir is a perfectly fine class. Going back to the tool box, it provides a very extensive set of different tools for different tasks. So does KOMA. If you use the tools properly, you cannot switch to a tool from a different box.

Back to the LEGO example. memoir and KOMA both provide thos extra little bricks and it is cool to use them. But if you have the need to modify one of those extra bricks, you are in trouble. If you want the customized brick to work well with the rest, you have to do a lot of serious hacking.

Not with the standard classes, the bricks are so freaking simple, everything is easy to do. But i have years of experience. I can make the standard class article do the same and look the same as book (same toolbox as article, just an extra screw driver and a monkey wrench), or have the look of scrbook. It is very easy to do.

I was a big fan of KOMA script in the past. Right now .... i am not able to patch anything, since everything is muched up in some flexible customizable code which pretty much generates itself.

With the standard classes, you now what to have in the tool box. Everything has its place for over 20 years and i know that the space above a chapter title is 50 pt big. I can change it easily. With KOMA, i can change it easily as well, using a special interface that was designed just to customize the chapter/section/... titles. It is fragile. I cannot simply whack it with a hammer.
The smart way: Calm down and take a deep breath, read posts and provided links attentively, try to understand and ask if necessary.

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Postby Cham » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:26 am

I tend to have the same view as you, Johannes. I think I prefer the old classical classes (book, article, ...), since I now know how to modify them to my taste, without much constraints. The KOMA classes may be harder to adapt to our preferences because of some constraints included in them. revtex4 is an extreme example of that.

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