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I'll admit this was a combination of pure procrastination and nerdsnipery but I like the result:

github.com/cadadr/MA_Thesis

This will be the skeleton for my thesis. Makefile builds everything. skel.tex uses \input to insert TeX for chapters, which are in Pandoc Markdown files. The .bib is autogenerated using the script I posted earlier.

I'll add a readme in a bit. Feel free to adapt to your needs.

@cadadr not a criticism, but just a query: why markdown?

@emacsomancer For now, because it's the default. I plan to be writing by the end of the year, roughly, and then is when I'll be deciding.

Tbf Markdown is about my least favourite choice when it comes to light markup, the one I really would hate being reStructuredText (because significant whitespace is a terrible idea). But Markdown does have a couple things going for it: minimal compared to Textile, clear outline, ubiquitous, capable with Pandoc extensions.

Org mode has a few downsides that I don't want to trip over anymore, namely failure at nesting markup, line count limit on markup, unclear or absent escape rules, fairly often illegible as plain text thanks to things like the block syntax and link syntax.

I used Textile a lot for my blog and I like it but I really want to be able to hard break my lines w/o trouble. Also the way it does headlines is too HTML-y to help with the outline.

AsciiDoc is the one interesting alternative but it does seem to be a fairly crowded, viz. docs.asciidoctor.org/asciidoc/

So Markdown it the least worst option it seems, so I feel like it'll be Markdown or just plain old LaTeX.

@cadadr Thanks for the detailed response!

I've had org->tex issues, but I hadn't known about the issues in the list you provide.

So markdown ends up as the least bad choice - that makes sense. I'd like to be able to use more markup languages, but I tend to just stick to org-mode for notes and outlines, and don't try to do anything fancy in org files I plan to dump to LaTeX, and then just work with the LaTeX as the base once dumped (or just start in LaTeX).

Not relevant for this particular use case, I'm sure, but I came across an interesting extension to markdown (market commons) written in Racket by one of the glitch-soc devs: github.com/marrus-sh/MarketCom

@cadadr (also re: reStructuredText, I'm still trying to figure out if Dante would put significant whitespace implementors in circle six (heresy) or circle eight (fraud))

@emacsomancer That extension is interesting but feels a bit heavy on the Shift keys when typing. Back in the day, learning coding, I had tried coming up with one in Haskell & Parsec that was like a lightweight TeX. It'd have the backslash comments but wouldn't be programmable, at least without tweaking the parser. Didn't complete it ever tho.

I guess the way you do it is the way to go with org because it's terribly hard to get a reproducible setup with it. Stuff changes often with releases and it's very intricately tied with your config, esp. if you've overdone it like I've.

FWIW, it's not impossible to remedy some of the markup issues in Org, albeit in somewhat inelegant fashion github.com/cadadr/configuratio

Org would be the best markup language ever if someone came up with a compatible Neo-Org with a proper parser that does escapes and nesting right with markup and blocks...

@cadadr Yeah, it being implemented in Racket was part of why it looked interesting to me.

lightweight TeX sounds very cool (and in Haskell, no less).

for a couple of years in the early 2010s I was all in an org - all my lectures were org files that exported to latex beamer to pdf. it was nice, if a little tricky now and then. but beamer's not fun to write directly, and lecture slides in org make a lot of sense. then there was a major org version release and everything broke.

I still get the itch every now and then though, and think:

@emacsomancer Haskell is a very unlucky language. It has some of the best features, and libraries like Parsec and Pandoc, but it's resistance to easy debuggability, so to speak, and stability / compatibility make it way more difficult than the type system. Parsec in particular is one nice library if you like to write little parsers by hand (simple recursive descent parsers in general are fairly easy and elegant in most languages, but Parsec makes it really easy).

Org beamer is a blessing, it saved me from Impress and PowerPoint for two semesters and I can only be grateful 🙏

@cadadr I'd like to learn a little bit more Haskell some day. But in terms of practical usage, as far as I know the only things I really ever run that use it are pandoc and shellcheck.

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