LaTeX forum ⇒ Generalwhy use scons or make?

LaTeX specific issues not fitting into one of the other forums of this category.
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why use scons or make?

Postby jhapk » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:30 pm


I am about to start writing a thesis. I was looking online for some sample latex layouts and I see many people have fancy makefiles and scons files for doing the compilation.

I am confused. Why do I need these if I am simply using pdflatex and include/input commands to structure my document? Anything significantly important about doing it with scons/make?


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Postby frabjous » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:36 pm

Who do you see using makefiles, etc.?

I can’t think of any reason you’d need any such thing, unless you were really doing something fancy.

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Postby php1ic » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:29 pm

I created a custom makefile for my thesis, mainly to save time and typing. I use latex->ps->pdf, with each step including a few options/flags. Initially I had aliases for the two conversions and one to do latex;bibtex;latex;latex.

The makefile groups everything together, was a bit of an academic exercise, and makes my life easier, especially as I transfer the entire thesis directory between home and work computers. Part of the makefile runs latex as many times as is required to resolve all internal references so it also adds some automation. It seems to be working as expected so far ;)

If I have altered many chapter files and figures, I can now simply type
  1. make pdf
instead of
  1. latex file
  2. bibtex file
  3. latex file
  4. latex file
  5. dvips [options] file.dvi -o
  6. ps2pdf [options]

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Postby localghost » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:53 pm

This way of processing only makes sense when not using a modern editor but doing most of the work on a terminal (whyever).

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