[R] the making of _R_ eBooks

Dr. Wolfgang Lindner lindnerw at t-online.de
Mon Mar 23 19:38:42 CET 2015

Dear John,

thank you for your kind answer and the historical excursions.
Your detailed post may help and inform other readers, too.
Thanks for your hint to TexStudio (I use[d] Texworks, Texshell, WinEDT).
So TeX will not be the problem, but I have first to learn about texinfo.

| > Thanks for any hint or link by expert R users.
| Oh, well, that excludes me. I'm not an expert.

No, your answer includes you :)
It was very helpful.
Indeed, I should better have said 'enthusiastic R users' ;)


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John McKown" <john.archie.mckown at gmail.com>
To: "Dr. Wolfgang Lindner" <lindnerw at t-online.de>
Cc: "Help R" <r-help at r-project.org>
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 1:36 PM
Subject: Re: [R] the making of _R_ eBooks

| On Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 3:50 AM, Dr. Wolfgang Lindner
| <lindnerw at t-online.de> wrote:
| > Dear list members,
| >
| > I like the look and feel of the eBook versions of the R manuals very
| > So I would like to generate eBooks (teaching material etc) in that look.
| I am not an expert. But I have looked at the source, so I can give you
| some information.
| >
| > Q1: is there a description how the _R_ ebooks have been produced?
| Looking at the source, it appears that the source manuals are in a
| document markup language called "GNU Texinfo".
| https://www.gnu.org/software/texinfo/
| You can think of this as something akin to, but different from, HTML
| or "markdown" encoding. Texinfo is an evolution by the system first
| designed by Richard Stallman of MIT. He is the driving force behind
| the GPL and most of the GNU software which forms the basis of the user
| space commands for Linux and the *BSD operating systems. Texinfo is
| then converted to TeX. TeX is the typesetting language designed by Dr.
| Donald Knuth. TeX, nominally, is converted into a DVI printer control
| language (DeVice Independent). But in the case of creating a PDF file,
| there is a processor called "pdftex",
| http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PdfTeX, which produces a PDF file as
| output . A good site for TeX is https://tug.org/
| Texinfo has the plus of also having processor which will convert it to
| UNIX "man" (manual) pages and HTML web pages. So one "source" document
| can generate three different types of output document file types.
| Most people use a enhanced TeX called LaTeX instead of "plain TeX"
| when using TeX. LaTeX can be read up on here:
| http://www.latex-project.org/ A good TeX document processor is
| TeXstudio at http://texstudio.sourceforge.net/ . I use this one myself
| (which is not necessary a strong endorsement because I'm nobody
| special).
| I feel the need to warn you that TeX is very powerful and, at least to
| me, quite difficult, with a fairly step learning curve. Which may be
| why the R project uses Texinfo because it is quite a bit easier to
| learn.
| > Q2: which (free) software was used for them?
| See the links above. On Fedora Linux, I get the TeX oriented software
| from a bunch of packages which start with "texlive". More information,
| including the processors for Linux, Windows, and Mac are at
| https://www.tug.org/texlive/
| > Q3: any other recommendations?
| You might consider LyX.
| http://www.lyx.org/
| LyX is a document processor. It would likely be easier to use than the
| above if you are used to MS Word or other word processing system. It
| is cross platform: Linux, Windows, and Mac. It stores files in its own
| textual format, which is somewhat human readable. LyX, like Texinfo,
| translates its format into TeX as an intermediate on its way to its
| ultimate destination. I am still learning LyX, but I personally like
| it.
| Your mention of LibreOffice is also a fairly good one. I, personally,
| use LibreOffice. But I don't use it for big documents. I have a
| learned aversion for word processors because it is so easy for them to
| be misused. In my opinion, a good document needs good metadata in it
| as well as just "looking pretty". Word processor users tend to focus
| on the format and not the content. That's just my opinion, based on
| what I've seen where I work.
| >
| > Seaching the internet gives me e.g.
| > [1]
| >
| > [2]  opensource.com/life/13/8/how-create-ebook-open-source-way
| > [3]
| >
| > but I m not sure, if there are better possibilities..
| >
| > Thanks for any hint or link by expert R users.
| Oh, well, that excludes me. I'm not an expert. But maybe it was helpful
| >
| > Wolfgang Lindner
| > Leichlingen, Germany
| -- 
| If you sent twitter messages while exploring, are you on a textpedition?
| He's about as useful as a wax frying pan.
| 10 to the 12th power microphones = 1 Megaphone
| Maranatha! <><
| John McKown
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