I have never really understood why people love latex.

I think latex serves an important role in scientific community in establishing a consistent way of presenting a scientific writing. However, unlike what it does in presentation the way in which you can write the latex code it self is very inconsistent and depend heavily on foreign packages where there are multiple packages that does the same job.

I think this complicates writing a latex code especially when you are writing a latex code in a group.

I also find the latex protocol difficult to understand and I do not understand why the protocol of latex can not be as simple as other programming languages such as HTML, CSS, Python or Java where the protocol and syntax are so simple and consistent they are almost intuitive.

I can imagine how this inconsistency in the source code of latex can be frustrating for many data scientists who are trying to scrape data from source code of scientific writings.

I think the fact StackExchange and Jupyter uses HTML when presenting normal text shows how most people prefer to write text in HTML like xml code. I fail to understand why the Latex has such a complex syntax and protocols and also why a language so frequently used by scientists, including computer scientists, have not been replaced by a new intuitive language for so long.

I want to hear some explanations for this. Maybe its just me who doesn't understand the fundamental of latex protocol and thus finding it more complex than it actually is so I would appreciate some sources in intuitively understanding the latex protocol/syntax.
I would like to know the historical mechanism on how the community came to be as such.

  • 5
    Well, I've never understood why people love Microsoft Word (and even spend their free time writing clones of it like Open Office etc) - but this isn't a good place to ask opinion-based questions!
    – alephzero
    Sep 24 '18 at 18:39
  • 2
    Naively, I would insist that the rules of good typesetting are not the same as the rules of good webpage design. Also, people here, I would think, see the package-based language extensions as providing flexibility to address new problem areas, rather than seeing it as a negative that muddies the overall language syntax. Sep 24 '18 at 18:39
  • 2
    many of the LaTeX 3 authors are creators of quite popular packages, so I don't think that they see that as a problem. the possibility to create custom packages and commands are exactly the reason why people who invested their time and effort to learn TeX and LaTeX love it an find it superior to for example Markdown or HTML + CSS
    – michal.h21
    Sep 24 '18 at 18:50
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    Also: (La)TeX has a huge user basis, is a well established solution, and most importantly: there is no real competitor or alternative which does things so much better that it is worth investing millions of hours into it. (Not that there is nothing of real significance that does things much better, up till now I didn't find something which does the hard things better at all)
    – Skillmon
    Sep 24 '18 at 18:53
  • 4
    some very strange statements here! "I think the existance of Latex3 project shows that many feels the same way as I do" is perhaps the strangest:-) the L3 project has been maintaining latex since sometime around 1992, why does that show anything about why people feel the way you do? and also "StackExchange and Jupyter uses HTML when presenting normal text shows how most people prefer to write text in HTML" It shows the exact opposite, in those systems people do not write html they write in a linear wiki syntax that is more like tex than html, and in the case of mathematics is tex syntax. Sep 24 '18 at 23:56

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