[Editors note: this post was inspired by ‘Reach for Markdown, not LaTeX’ (link)]
Years and years ago I learned about a wonderful markup language called LaTeX. It was far more powerful than HTML, had many templates available, handled math correctly and generally ‘just worked’.
Having content and presentation generally separate was a freeing moment in my journey through markup languages.
Once I discovered this disconnect I became an instant and heavy user of markup languages. I’ve used many over the years and LaTeX always reigned supreme for me. It’s flexible, adept and works beautifully.
Until it doesn’t.
A couple years ago I started using Markdown for its simplicity and ubiquitous support in technology land. The more I’ve been using it (this blog is Jekyll + Markdown) the more I’ve come to appreciate the inherent simplicity it provides.
LaTeX was dethroned for simple, elegant, useful.
And then I needed a Resume.
Markdown failed hard. It’s too simple, a PITA to get properly formatted PDFs for complex documents (for me at least) and it really didn’t have the ’look’ I wanted.
Enter LaTeX. Solved the resume issue but is still more cumbersome than I like day to day.
Back to Markdown.
And back again.
Markdown first, LaTeX second. org-mode syntax, Pandoc and others based on needs.
Learn the first 3, you’ll be happy you did.