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Trying to help a couple of completely lost querents here, I looked around and find a couple of nice posts pointing to "introductory" documentation, like for example What are good learning resources for a LaTeX beginner? and LaTeX Introductions in languages other than English.

But especially for the non-english language cases, I have seen that lot of documentation is still suggesting things like A\~nejo for "special" chars, or for example things like \usepackage[latin1]{inputenc}... and moreover, compiling to dvi and things like that.

I think that 2016 is utf8 world now, and that we should send the new users straight to that and at least pdflatex processing flow --- and moreover, using some ultra-used packages like enumitem and siunitx from the start, given that they answer very commonly asked questions by first-timers. Also noticing the existence of xelatex and lualatex for multilingual, multi-font documents would be nice...

And, apart from never starting a sentence with a conjunction, they should also have a short chapter about tex.SE and what an MWE is...

Is there some introductory document like this? Or, shouldn't we try to change the not-so-short in this sense?

closed as off-topic by cfr, user13907, barbara beeton, Paul Gessler, darthbith Apr 3 '16 at 2:04

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    One of my PhD thesis propositions was : "50 years from now, people would still consider themselves modern". – percusse Mar 5 '16 at 16:40
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    ...maybe we could add a wiki-type answer commenting what should be "modernized" in the not-to-short document (or similar)? – Rmano Mar 5 '16 at 17:30
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    I am sorry, ut i don't think this is the right place to discuss something like that. A ailing list would be more suited. But on the other hand, lshort is a document with a fixed authorset (still), so only a limited set of people should be able to add something. A git approach with merging would be possile i think. BUt this needs the original authors to agree. ut i completely and fully agree that updating existing documents is better then to create new documents. An approach like the Wikibook on LaTeX (which is very well-known) doesn't seem to be a good approach. – Johannes_B Mar 15 '16 at 17:20
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    @Johannes_B Surely an ailing list has enough problems without adding to them? – cfr Apr 3 '16 at 0:43
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this really can't be addressed in this format: it is calling for people to update existing documentation which is just not something which can be done here and would be better discussed in a more appropriate context. – cfr Apr 3 '16 at 0:47
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\begin{plug}[class=shameless]

I will of course recommend my own Formatting Information for the "good learning resource for a LaTeX beginner" category. This is an online book which is free (GPDL) and regularly updated (so yes, it does recommend UTF-8 and XeLaTeX and biblatex and biber, and yes, I do fix stuff people tell me about). TUG published an earlier version in an issue of TUGboat.

No, it doesn't have anything on mathematics: I'm not a mathematician or a computer scientist, so I leave math to others (so no siunits, sorry). But yes, tex.SE has a section; it doesn't mention MWEs though, so I'm adding that now. [Edit: it's here.]

It's available at http://latex.silmaril.ie/formattinginformation in HTML and PDF (each section is linked to its location in the relevant PDF chapter) and I am working on the eBook version, so if anyone wants to test-drive the experimental EPUB3 or MOBI version, mail me.

\end{plug}
  • I agree the question is sort-of off topic but this is a good answer. I couldn't find the PDF link download, though.... ;-) – Rmano Apr 3 '16 at 8:14
  • I just finalised this set of edits, although some of it is experimental, in the sense that "this is the way I think it makes sense to present it" but if you feel otherwise let me know. The PDF links are the big blue printer icons beside the page titles. If you want the entire thing as a PDF, it's latex.silmaril.ie/formattinginformation/beginlatex.pdf – Peter Flynn Apr 3 '16 at 18:47
  • Ah, nice. It's the link from the home page to the whole thing as PDF I missed... thanks. By the way, I think that not having HTML versions of the various manuals (tikz, tcolorbox, etc) is a big problem for the LaTeX ecosystem.... so I applause the way you are organizing yours. – Rmano Apr 3 '16 at 19:29
  • I should make those links more obvious. I don't find the absence of HTML documentation a problem, myself; it's easier to type texdoc tcolorbox than to go fossicking for the HTML, and there are things you might want to do in tech doc that work perfectly in LaTeX but which require all sorts of hoops to be jumped through to make them work in HTML. – Peter Flynn Apr 5 '16 at 8:22
  • Yes, I concur, but... sometime to be able to link to a specific point in the documentation without the need of browse through big PDF documents (that moreover change a lot with time and version, see tikzpgfmanual...) would be handy. – Rmano Apr 5 '16 at 8:51

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