Really great ! thanks for sharing, I didn't knew it whereas I am fond of any LaTeX-for-poor-and-lost-humanists...
There is also a very useful LaTeX-for-SHS-users website and free book there... mainly in French ;-). I wrote my PhD with LaTeX thanks to / because of it. https://geekographie.maieul.net/LaTeX
But it wouldn't be the first (or second, or third) tool I'd direct social science or humanities colleagues towards.
I can't think of a single colleague who wouldn't be turned off by #LaTeX source or resources talking about "noobs" etc.
The good news is that with #pandoc, it's also not necessary to take on LaTeX.
Good question – I think that's a great discussion to have! For most I think reference management & version control are most important, followed by something for document preparation, & finally tools for various kinds of data analysis and dataviz.
@_emacsomancer @teinturs @wolftune @aminb @eylul @emacsen @librelounge @cwebber @mlemweb
I think Kieran Healey's plain text guide goes in the right direction, but falsely assumes that regression analysis using #R is a central part of people's workflow. Not true for most social scientists.
There's worse things than Git, sure, but that's not an argument for it being friendly. Git's jargon and way of working are not that approachable, full of pitfalls and confusion for newcomers.
I've heard Mercurial is friendlier, but the mere fact that it's less popular and less-known is a detraction in practice.
@wolftune, ok, the less unfriendly :-). I’ve talked earlier in this thread about the idea of creating a text editor that used Git under the hood and someone suggested smth that was similar, iirc, but I haven’t dug it yet.
Git-backed wikis exist…
As long as the markup (markdown usually) includes support for advanced text stuff like footnotes and so on (Gitit uses Pandoc which has all that for example)
Apart from a very few, everybody else in the social sciences seem to think that it’s MS Word or Google Docs to do our work. Some, who tend to be seen as hardcore quantativists, praise some (proprietary) software they use to treat data. The end.
@fredmbarros Do you know of any place where people are having this discussion? As far as I can see, I find it is usually driven by concerns about replicability or by fans of a certain ecosystem like R or emacs. These discussions rarely refer to free software ideals or how to do scholarship with an ethical stack, and they rarely expand our imagination of what scholarly collaboration might look like.
Is that your impression as well? If not, happy to get some pointers!
@jboy totally my impression and actually, more towards the beginning of this thread, I have raised the idea of creating some sort of group, mailing list, podcast or anything like that around this very theme of FOSS in Academia. Do you have an idea of what we could do? Want to try something?
Yes, it would be nice to create a space for this.
(My university IT dept is threatening to shut down our mailman server in favor of proprietary alternatives, else I'd offer to set up a list...)
I guess there are at least two conversations here: Free Software and Academia in general & Free Software and Humanities and Social Science Scholarship. They're related, but I think the latter may be worth a dedicated space because it's frequently neglected.
@jboy you’re right about there being two themes, but I don’t know (I really don’t know, it’s not a meandering way to disagree) if we can afford to divide them, as the space for this discussion is already so small. Anyway, in my case I’m always talking about the latter, as this is the field where I’m in, even if I try to generalize from there.
Talking practicalities: any other ideas? We could maybe set up a Discourse instance, though I think it may not get much traction.
@jboy I hadn’t noticed either. Sorry, @mlemweb!
As for sticking to Masto, ok, but it’s a bit cumbersome to keep everybody in the loop (groups is something that it could offer, btw), esp since people’s handles count as characters and bc you’ve to remember everybody in the conversation and sometimes actively insert them. #faiaf will certainly help, but then people have to look it up - not so different from looking what’s been posted in a group though, I admit
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