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Compared with other document classes, the documentation supplied with octavo on CTAN is very short.

  • Does this documentation really provide the list of custom options and special commands used with octavo?
  • Are there any other documents which provide more detailed information about how to use this document class?
  • Where can I find some examples of finished book that used this class?
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Glancing through the code (octavo.dtx) I can say that the class does not provide special user-level commands, and the options defined there are well described in the documentation. As far as I can see, the aim of the author was to provide a drop-in replacement for the standard LaTeX book class with the same interface, but different typographic output. This goes along the idea of separaton logical markup and the actual typesetting.

Therefore I personally do not see the need in addtional documentation: the authors can use the standard LaTeX manuals, and the TeXnicians can read the (well-commented) source code.

You can easily generate examples yourself.

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Is that octavo.dtx file all of the actual code which is used by LaTeX to build the books? I thought that short file was just related to the documentation. – Village Nov 19 '11 at 2:08
A dtx file is both code and documentation. This is the literate programming system used by many LaTeX package authors. You can either typeset it and get a manual and (optionally) commented code, or extract from it the code proper: cls, sty, clo and other files. See the documentation for docstrip. – Boris Nov 19 '11 at 2:57

On TeX Live the octavo class comes with a TUGboat article by Stefan A. Revets describing it:

texdoc octavo

will show the document. The PDF is however not of the greatest quality; but the article is publicly available from TUG


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