12:00 AM
@AlanMunn Surely with both arguments I would have got out of the way :)

@PabloGonzálezL It annoys me a lot when my students tell me of such nit-picky requirements from their other professors. My motto is "teaching is not a power trip."

@AlanMunn I had a million problems when I presented my thesis because of the styles and yes ...at that time the department only had word templates...they were my first steps trying to make a TeX document look as ugly as a Word document :)

12:25 AM
@MarcelKrüger ! Undefined control sequence.
\__intopdf_pdfstream_file:nn ...ex_pdfextension:D
objstreamattr{#1}file{#2}
l.16 {The source of this document}{here}

1:00 AM
@DavidCarlisle -- I've just done a rather cursory online search of places one might expect to see a warning about one-letter control sequences, and didn't find it anywhere. lshort doesn't have it. Michael Doob's "Gentle Introduction" doesn't mention it, although there's a quite complete list of single-character \css for accents. learnlatex doesn't even mention \newcommand, much less the single-letter kind (you might think of adding something along those lines). Any more suggestions?
@DavidCarlisle -- You can talk to me. (But I guess I'm in the same category as @Ulrike.)

6 hours later…
6:44 AM
@JosephWright ^^^ we could mention \newcommand (\NewDocumentCommand??) in more-06, perhaps?

@DavidCarlisle Sure: it's something we likely need to add somewhere

@JosephWright more-06 or lesson-xx and shuffle the rest along....? (more-06 is currently a bit light although we might want to drop the "with packages" from the lesson-06 title if we say too much about definitions

7:36 AM
@DavidCarlisle lesson 6 could be "extending with packages and commands", it could then show a simple \newcommand, for example an abbreviation or perhaps a semantic markup. The more lesson could then extend a bit.

@UlrikeFischer yes something like that, I agree

2 hours later…
9:12 AM
@UlrikeFischer Good plan

@samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Arial for text wouldn't be the worst, I can further alienate you: Arial for maths!

@Rmano Windings?

@Rmano I think I'd prefer that. Way easier to maintain than hacking helvet into maths...

9:28 AM
@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz well I have to admit it's even uglier than Comic Sans... ;-P

@Rmano plus the symbols of Euler don't match those of MS word (and beamer manages your maths fonts, I need to get Arial in maths in my reports...)

@Rmano believe me, getting the right look was annoyingly difficult (and I'm still not 100% satisfied with it). The problem when you try to mimick some (horrible) MS Word template.

@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz yes, I know. Been there.

9:34 AM
@Rmano @Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz my heart almost stopped when I read that one of the requirements of thesis writing was the mandatory use of sans serif. Being my thesis full of math stuff, I was in panic. I was considering helvet at some point. Thankfully, I noticed that a serif thesis would be acceptable, although it's not their preferable style...

@PauloCereda Is that an accessibility thing?

Then I used Lucida. Awwww Lucida. :)
@JosephWright definitely no.
@JosephWright it might sound like it is, but believe me, ABNT has no idea of what they are doing except annoying the hell of Brazilian academia.

@PauloCereda Well, even if your base text font is a sans serif you can get somewhat decent looking results with the right maths font, however if the requirement is that also the maths are in the same font, then I'd argue that this will look horrible (looking at my own master's thesis). I'll see how my PhD thesis will look like (hopefully).

@PauloCereda Ah, right: some grant bodies here require sans serif as there is evidence that this is better for dyslexics

9:37 AM
@PauloCereda sounds good...
@JosephWright well, there is evidence that Comic Sans is really good for dyslexics, still I hope they don't request Comic Sans.

@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz It's likely partly the personal preference of people: the classic case with that is WWII in the UK and railings - they were removed 'to make planes' but really because some government official didn't like railings outside houses
2

@JosephWright interesting. I sigh every time I had to read ABNT stuff, as they don't say serif vs. sans serif, it's just Times vs. Arial, which enrages me so much. I was hoping someone would ask me, when looking at Lucida, "oh that's a fancy Times you have there".
Now it's Calibri, I guess. Not sure how the mix with Cambria is, actually.

@JosephWright oh, sneaky
@PauloCereda I'd bet they still say Arial... :)

@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz One way to put it

@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz It's a pity there is just one weight, otherwise Andika software.sil.org/andika is not bad.

9:42 AM
@JosephWright you know why the year in films is typeset in roman? The movie production was slow back then and they were simply playing the same movies over and over. Since some order from government required the movie productions to stamp their movies with the production year, they decided to use roman, so only a few nerds people would be able to say which year was, and no one would notice it was an old movie. :)

@JosephWright honestly, I had no idea and find this an interesting story.

My favourite bit: Alternatively, you could have become a grave-digger. But beware, it may have been a riskier profession than it sounds. This husband and wife both dug graves for a living, but they got divorced because an evil demon ruined their marriage.

@JosephWright this could be a Monty Python sketch: I will not ruin your marriage for a pound
@JosephWright OH MY

2 hours later…
12:04 PM
@DavidCarlisle quack

12:17 PM
@PauloCereda A bit late for dinner?

@PauloCereda :D

12:35 PM
We plan a documentation hackathon at Overleaf. One of the proposed projects is to clear LaTeX sins from the Overleaf help. I hope this will be picked up, it's a debt to the comunity :-) So if someone knew about something that's wrong in our help, please let me know, as we might not be aware of everything.
6

12:46 PM
@yo' cool!
@yo' also, I am still waiting for my prize money. :)

1:08 PM

- I'm wondering if the group around

{
\begin{frame}
In this slide \pause

the text will be partially visible \pause

And finally everything will be there
\end{frame}
}

is necessary

- is \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} still necessary, that was changed several years ago

- at "Below are two more examples: " mention that more themes are at the bottom of the page?

@samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz great, thanks! Considering inputenc, we have had some discussion about that one, and we§re still inclined to keep it for compatibility with people's local installations. But this may change in the future of course

@PauloCereda late lunch

@DavidCarlisle oh no

how can I write that?
I am not sure how to get that font

1:19 PM
@Anush \mathcal?

@PauloCereda do I need a package for that?

@Anush \mathscr{D}_\ell probably there are several script font packages try rsfso

@PauloCereda it seems not to be that

@Anush texdoc symbols page 123

@DavidCarlisle perfect, thanks. As simple as \usepackage{mathrsfs} $\mathscr{D}$

1:23 PM
@yo' :) just wanted to make sure it wasn't some forgotten relic from a previous age :)

@samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz nope nope, we include it even on New Project -> Blank Project.

@Anush it was either that or \mathscr

@yo' That's the most misleading name ever! I'll always have to delete all these stuff before being able to paste my own document :)

@yo' the 30 min starter, \begin{figure}[h] could you lose the h or at tp as well:-)

@PauloCereda indeed :)

1:26 PM
@DavidCarlisle oh that one will need a ton of work I'm afraid :-) Thanks!

And while we speak about overleaf: yet another "Works fine in overleaf"-user on SO with at least 5 error messages ....

Also, arara support? :)
2

@PauloCereda @Anush or modern people just type 𝒟

@PauloCereda is it still depandant on Java?

Me: "Your coding looks weird" OP: "I copied from @JosephWright's blog"
5

1:29 PM
@yo' While writing TeX a cup of coffee should never hurt ;)

your dtx structure is rather weird, you sue \jobname but it only works if the file is called things.dtx as you include that package by name, the error is because you need the driver code earlier (or the package code guarded by % \iffalse so that when you do pdflatex things.dtx it only sees the <driver> section, as it is you are processing the <package> section before the documentclass has been loaded — David Carlisle 2 hours ago

@yo' Feature request: additional option for new "empty project"

@samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz not really gonna happen I think. The "Blank Project" has a single file with a couple of lines, and we don't wanna go smaller than that; it could cause issues and unexpected behaviour...

@yo' it is. :)

1:31 PM
@DavidCarlisle poor \jobname will go to jail :)

@samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz what would be the use case?
@PauloCereda they I'm afraid that's a blank no at the moment.

@yo' no worries, I will keep pestering them. (not you, of course)

@PauloCereda you know you should rewrite it in Lua:-)

@DavidCarlisle oh that's too modern for me ! :)

@DavidCarlisle it will be far worse, ask again in arara 11.0 :)

1:35 PM
@PauloCereda by then Lua will be out of favour and you'll need to have rewritten it again in Julia or Rust or something

@DavidCarlisle Oh?

@DavidCarlisle don't tell that to @MarcelKrüger

@JosephWright see link in next comment (to be fair I didn't check how faithfully your template was followed I was just amused when he gave the source:-)
@PauloCereda he'll cope.

@DavidCarlisle It's the same structure I used for ages, but you can't just stick in arbitrary packages and expect them to work :)

@yo' (I know I'm not the typical user) I'm using Overleaf to test things with different texlive versions (did I say the new option to switch between versions is great?) So whenever I come to overleaf and create a blank project (because I later might want to link to it) I first have to select or delete everything before I can paste my document.
(and I'm a bit uncomfortable that instead of a dummy text the \author field actually contains my user name and I'm afraid I'll forget to remove it and accidentality share a link that contains my user name)

1:40 PM

what random number generator does pgf use?
as in for example \pgfmathrandominteger

@Anush the one in pdftex (if you are using pdftex)

I am using pdflatex
do you know what that is?

@DavidCarlisle Er, don't think so: doesn't it use some non-expandable code

@JosephWright oh does it really? I assumed it was using the primitive one

1:43 PM
I just want to know if it is terrible or not :)

@DavidCarlisle ^^ best RNG
@Anush define "terrible"

@PauloCereda :)

@Anush it's good enough to make a random multiple choice quizz picking 3 questions from a sample of 5 or 6, I wouldn't use it to encrypt my bank details:-)

@PauloCereda a linear congruential generator

% This file defines the pseudorandom numbers.
%
% Version 1.414213 29/9/2007

% Pseudo-random number generation.
%
% See:
% \book@{pressetal1992,
%    author    = {William H. Press and Brian P. Flannery and Saul A.
%                 Teukolsky and William T. Vetterling},
%    title     = {Numerical Recipies in C},
%    edition   = {Second},
%    publisher = {Cambridge University Press}
% }
%
% See also, the documentation for the lcg package by Erich Janka:
% (ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/lcg/lcg.pdf)

1:44 PM
@samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Well, for single-file projects, I'm afraid the Ctrl+A step can't be avoided. For multi-file projects, you can upload them as a ZIP file.

@Anush but @JosephWright's reply is better than mine:-)

And thanks, in the end I think it's a good idea we show all TL versions availabl :)

% A linear congruency generator for generating
% pseudo-random numbers. Generates numbers in
% the range 1 - 2^31-1.
@Anush ^^^

:(

@Anush well, it's not terrible per se, it has its merits since LCGs tend to be simple to implement and very fast. It surely has good applications, so it depends on your usage...

1:46 PM
@PauloCereda yes. Just terrible in terms of randomness

It's like my reasoning for using CRC32 in hash for arara. :)

:)

@Anush You'll enjoy the comments in the expl3 code about the pdfTeX generator, then

@Anush as I say, the use cases for randomising while typesetting are pretty non demanding

@DavidCarlisle right but the problem is that now we are all generating images using tikz. And that does need proper randomness (sometimes)

1:47 PM
@Anush the Dilbert one was spot-on. :)
@DavidCarlisle where's Arno with his cryptographic stuff? :)

@JosephWright I look forward to reading them!

@PauloCereda I could tell you but his whereabouts are encrypted.

we need a mersenne twister option

@DavidCarlisle ooh legacy

@Anush In github.com/latex3/latex3/blob/master/l3kernel/l3fp-random.dtx 'raw' or typeset in texdoc source3

1:48 PM
@Anush when we = you :)

@PauloCereda correct :)

@Anush Basically, we use the pdfTeX primitive, which comes from MetaFont, which means it's Knuth's approach more-or-less: there are some issues which are dealt with by only using some of the available range 'behind the scenes'

@Anush you do realise the arithmetic capabilities that tex gives you by default? (basically just 32 bt integers and no floating point

@Anush well, you can go for LuaLaTeX and then import the Mersenne Twister: github.com/linux-man/randomlua

@Anush Why? Pictures need 'some interest'
@DavidCarlisle ERNIE ;)

1:50 PM
@yo' that's a very good point

You could also go with /dev/random and the like.

this is actually very helpful thank you. I will just create any random data externally

@Anush Sure: the expl3 version is probably 'as much as is sensible in TeX', and for the purposes most people want should be enough

@Anush ah yeah, as @PauloCereda mentions , you might be able to do \edef\randomnumber{\input{|"/dev/random"}}

@DavidCarlisle who needs floating point these days

1:52 PM
@yo' interesting!

@yo' THIS

@JosephWright sounds good

@samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz I love this so much

@Anush ups, either my screen is not large enough or you all are talking too much :)

This reminds me of a book I have in my shelf:

@Anush random cartoons, just gave the same value twice. It happens.

@DavidCarlisle good point

@Anush it's a nice book. :)

1:55 PM
I know :)

@Anush Yes: Bruno and Jean-François Burnol spent quite a while on it

@DavidCarlisle Currently I would expect that JavaScript is the more likely candidate... ConTeXt is already working on it.

@MarcelKrüger I'd missed that: I thought Hans liked Lua!

@JosephWright Yes, but he experimentally added a JavaScript interpreter to LuaMetaTeX. (IIRC the comment was something like: We added it because people asked for it and we want to show them that Lua is better even if you have the choice.)

@MarcelKrüger Ah, right

2:07 PM
@MarcelKrüger yes I saw something about javascript in luametatex somewhere

@MarcelKrüger you got mail. :)

@Anush I have some terribly slow code on an RC4 I wrote some time ago when XeTeX didn't support the random number primitives.

@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz as in Rivest Cipher 4 ?

@Anush yes, but I have no idea how good the implementation is. I wrote it a while back and never really needed it, sooooo your mileage may vary :)

2:22 PM
:)

@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz I think nowadays the expl3 one is the way to go: the engine approach + 'massaging' is pretty good

\documentclass[]{article}

\ExplSyntaxOn
\int_new:N \g_anush_RCiv_i_int
\int_new:N \g_anush_RCiv_j_int
\int_new:N \g_anush_RCiv_keylength_int
\int_new:N \g_anush_tmpa_int
\int_const:Nn \c_anush_RCiv_Slength_int { 256 }
\cs_new_protected_nopar:Npn \anush_RCiv_S_new:n #1
{ \int_new:c { g_anush_RCiv_S_ \int_eval:n { #1 } _int } }
\cs_new_protected_nopar:Npn \anush_RCiv_S_set:nn #1 #2
{ \int_gset:cn { g_anush_RCiv_S_ \int_eval:n { #1 } _int } { #2 } }
\cs_new_nopar:Npn \anush_RCiv_S_get:n #1
{ \int_use:c { g_anush_RCiv_S_ \int_eval:n { #1 } _int } }
@Anush here, some horrible code :)

@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz what on earth is it doing?
ah... random numbers :)
which generator?

@Anush if I only could remember :) But somehow the results appear to be random.

:)

2:33 PM
@DavidCarlisle, @UlrikeFischer, @egreg Comments on github.com/josephwright/siunitx/issues/…? I'm tempted to say 'tough'

@Anush that's the RC4 I wrote sometime ago (the names of the macros might hint something like that RCiv).

we need to mersenne twister in expl3

@Anush Bruno

if that even makes sense grammatically

@JosephWright poor Bruno.

2:33 PM
@Anush Doing it expandably is ... interesting

ah :)

@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz He enjoys it: he wrote the regex code, after all

@JosephWright that and l3fp.

It feels like a transpiler is needed

@JosephWright not really

2:34 PM
write it in something sane and have the expl3 automatically generated

@Anush well, go on and use a C implementation, compile it with gcc-avr and use the avremu package to run it in LaTeX.

lots of words I don't know! I mean there it is github.com/ESultanik/mtwister/blob/master/mtwister.c

@Anush that isn't likely to be easy to do. The bottleneck is encoding the algorithms at all just using tex macro expansion, writing it in expl3 rather than <insert language here> isn't the issue.

understood
at least the code is quite short

@DavidCarlisle Well, using expl3 you could create a simple stack machine and have some transpiler for it, or not?
(performance would most likely be crappy, though)

2:42 PM
@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz well yes this^^ as you know (given your recent PRs:-) getting reasonable speed out of this requires the core code to be specifically written to exploit tex's quirks.

3:03 PM
@Skillmonlikestopanswers.xyz and @JosephWright -- There are published standards for the use of fonts in expressing technical letter symbols, if you care to follow them. This one may interest you: Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI). The last sentence on page 34 is a nice example.

@Anush If you post code on tex.se that other people wrote, you could at least give credit to where you got it from

@barbarabeeton Thank you!

@Anush Please also note that it was published under CC BY-SA 4.0, so you are actually violating the licence

@samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz I didn't meant to be rude sorry. I just didn't want to look like I was saying you couldn't answer the question

3:06 PM

@PauloCereda still a constant though

@Anush Unless you throw the avocado at someone. :)

@barbarabeeton interesting that the preface says "the metric system of measurement as the preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce" Not the impression one gets viewing from outside the country:-)

@Anush Giving a link to the original post would be better then giving a name

@samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz let me dig that out.
umm... do you know the link?
I have to go in 60 seconds but will be back later
got it

3:15 PM
@barbarabeeton Looks very interesting, looking forward to skimming through it, thanks!

@Anush thanks. There is actually a very easy solution to the problem

@Anush only 3 lines had to be modified :)

:)
which doc should I be reading to understand \setlist[itemize]{leftmargin=*,label=\scalebox{.8}{\textbullet}}
for example?
that is to understand the options for itemize

3:36 PM
@Anush no one if you are using beamer

@JosephWright say that at some time array will be part of the format so the class should better adapt as soon as possible ...?

@UlrikeFischer Yes, did occur to me

@JosephWright it wouldn't be a lie, we did discuss it, and it is sometimes a pain that tabular layouts change.

@Anush enumitem is usually the way to go.

3:46 PM

@Anush ^^^ as @samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz says you can't use enumitem with beamer.

I look forward to freeing myself from my beamer shackles
but not for a while

@Anush The reason is that beamer does lots of fancy things to get the slide animations to work and this makes it not compatible with what enumitem does.

@AlanMunn Well, one can use it and will get a free magic show in making the bullets disappear :)

3:48 PM
@AlanMunn that's a shame
they should talk to each other and make a deal :)

@Anush Well it would be up to the beamer people to add that kind of functionality to its lists, not up to the enumitem author to support beamer IMO. (I've purposefully left "beamer people" unspecified.) :)

@Anush beamer has its own mechanism to customise lists

got you

@MarcelKrüger If you were to answer, I suspect I'd delete mine:-)
0

As shown by the following MCE, \textlangle and \textrangle are correctly displayed with pdflatex + kpfonts but not with lualatex + kpfonts-otf. The latter case is not so unexpected since Daniel Flipo, the maintainer of kpfonts-otf, told me these characters are currently missing (he's working on i...

@DavidCarlisle picture mode to the rescue? :)

3:55 PM
@JosephWright The definitions of headers in the class are, to say the least, “disputable”.

@AlanMunn good plan:
\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

\begin{picture}(10,10)
\put(0,5){\line(1,3){4}}
\put(0,5){\line(1,-3){4}}
\end{picture}
\end{document}

@DavidCarlisle :)

@samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz bringing emacs to desperate vim users
2

4:11 PM
@DavidCarlisle When they reached the vim user, they tried to open the door. "Damn, what was the key combination for the door again?"

4:23 PM
@DavidCarlisle :fgthjsgj

@PauloCereda clearly an unreliable source

@DavidCarlisle do you have vim?!

$vim bash: vim: command not found but unfortunately after some cygwin update vi works (and gives you vim) @DavidCarlisle ooh [paulo@cambridge ~]$ alias emacs
alias emacs='vim'
@DavidCarlisle ^^

how do you get out of insert mode to type : things again?
@PauloCereda ah control-z works:
$vi [4]+ Stopped vi$ kill -9 %4

[4]+  Stopped                 vi

\$
[4]+  Killed                  vi
The emacs interface is more intuitive

4:31 PM
@DavidCarlisle for you:
ZZ also quits vim :)

@PauloCereda not in the mode I was in, it would have typed ZZ, I thought esc would get back to the command thing but apparently not.

@DavidCarlisle vim is intuitive, isn't it :)

5:31 PM
So after yesterday's discussions in here, I took what was left of my soul and managed to compile my first documents with LuaLaTeX and unicode-math; no errors!

@DavidCarlisle -- Indeed, it looks like a distinct bit of wishful thinking. (I certainly still think in terms of inches/feet/miles ... although "furlongs per fortnight" is sorely tempting.)

5:57 PM
@DavidCarlisle that's what you say. For me it doesn't even start:
% emacs
zsh: correct 'emacs' to 'mcs' [nyae]? n
zsh: command not found: emacs
But luckily I got a good fix for this:
% alias emacs=vim
% emacs

6:08 PM
Define ‘ominous’: when you restart your machine 5 minutes ago and it’s still booting.

6:22 PM
@barbarabeeton you remembered that one?
@LaTeXereXeTaL we were being helpfully constructive, your soul should have been uplifted not damaged:-)

@DavidCarlisle -- Of course. Like I remember the measurement system that was Knuth's first publication in Mad Magazine. (One of my former department managers used the expression all the time. He was also a fisherman, and "fathoms" also was representative of his vocabulary.)

6:37 PM
@JosephWright shouldn't we better close this curious issue?

@UlrikeFischer I think probably yes

@UlrikeFischer @JosephWright if this looks half reasonable I'll move to a branch at learnlatex for a PR but lesson and more (@barbarabeeton may want to addd a semicolon or two)
It's hard to think of any sensible definitions at that point, no maths or images or ..

@DavidCarlisle The run-in has some random maths stuff ...
@DavidCarlisle Keyword is a good example; perhaps say something like 'do not overdo it'?

@JosephWright oops early thoughts before I decided maths was later in the course

@DavidCarlisle the title "adding commands" looks odd, the text is about packages. And there is a cpmmand.

6:44 PM
@UlrikeFischer That was there already, but yes with the following new text it looks a bit odd, I'll adjust

@DavidCarlisle If we are covering it, I think we need to say something like '#1 represents the first argument (braced text); we can use more than one of these, but usually for simple user additions, a single argument is enough'?

@JosephWright I would there only say that "#1 represents the argument", but no more details.

@DavidCarlisle -- Just let me know when and where to raise my semnicolon antenna.

@UlrikeFischer Fair enough

@UlrikeFischer @JosephWright I added some text, I could put it in a branch at learnlatex but it won't render there unless I immediately merge? Then you could adjust text as needed

6:51 PM
@DavidCarlisle one of the examples in the more part has no buttons, and there is a typo "her ewe", but beside this I think it is quite fine.

@JosephWright my xparse description is a bit under-played but don't want beginners defining verbatim arguments etc I guess
@UlrikeFischer well ewes are feminine so that seems OK:-)
@UlrikeFischer oh cut and paste error there is no documentclass (so no buttons)

@DavidCarlisle perhaps in the babel example one should show a fix name, e.g. by using \tableofcontents.

@UlrikeFischer want to suggest some German text other than H"ohe ?

7:09 PM
@DavidCarlisle B"ar? ;-) I have no real idea which german word with umlaut is recognized easily. München is perhaps known.

@UlrikeFischer no I meant with enough sections to have \tableofcontents

@DavidCarlisle \section{Über Äpfel und Birnen}?

@UlrikeFischer Knödel seem to be popular beyond boarders

7:19 PM
@UlrikeFischer something like this, without the english bits?
\documentclass[ngerman]{article} % Notice that the option name is 'ngerman'
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

\usepackage{babel}

\begin{document}

\tableofcontents

\section{Über Äpfel und Birnen}

\subsection{"Apfel}

\subsection{Birnen}

and pairs with some babel shorthands

\end{document}

@DavidCarlisle yes, could work. Should shorthands then be used everywhere?

@DavidCarlisle sarcasm

@UlrikeFischer not everywhere but at least once, the existing text before the example says For example, in German, it provides some shorthands for
creating 'soft' hyphens, and also a way to quickly type umlauts without needing
a German keyboard.

@DavidCarlisle yes, I didn't meant in every example, but in the \section in this example. "Uber "Apfel und Birnen.

@UlrikeFischer yes possibly, or in the sentence where I have English, needs to be "easy" German readable by someone expecting a course in English...
@UlrikeFischer could just say Über Äpfel for one section and same for Birnen in teh second i suppose?

7:33 PM
@DavidCarlisle Yes. The sentences could be easy: "Apfel sind rot", and "Birnen sind gelb" or something like that.

7:52 PM
@LaTeXereXeTaL actually it was intended to be constructive, hope we were not too depressing, sorry if that's how it appeared

@DavidCarlisle looks ok imho.

No, it was the most I've ever learned in one sitting.

@UlrikeFischer Thanks I added it to my newcommand branch in the PR at learnlatex

8:36 PM
@DavidCarlisle -- I'll accept colons instead of semicolons. But the method of specifying options to \NewDocumentCommand is so different from that for \newcommand that a little more explanation would be helpful, like saying that they are specified within the first set of braces following the name of the new command. Don't expect a newbie to be familiar with xparse.

@barbarabeeton I don't think so, I mean mentioning that it exist so that they have seen it once is fine, but it is not the purpose of the course to train how to write new commands.

@UlrikeFischer -- When I read the new text I had to go look up the documentation of xparse to make sure I understood how the arguments were specified. It's quite specific that the number of arguments and value of optional argument for \newcommand are packed in [ ] square brackets. (I've read the xparse documentation, but don't use it every day.)

9:22 PM
@barbarabeeton you are looking at this from the view point of an experienced tex user, not from a beginner. You want the details of the syntax, they should simply learn "there two commands to define new commands", and see a simple example. They don't need the syntax now, only a first impression.

@UlrikeFischer -- It's true that as an experienced TeX user, I want to know the syntax. But I think that a newbie will look at this and say, "Oh, this can be useful! How can I add it to my document?" And that information isn't there. It's not an example that can be experimented with. There's enough information given with \newcommand` to be able to actually use it.

9:44 PM
@barbarabeeton there was a working example. But if someone is already at "I want to use this in my document"-level then they can imho start to look up documentation.

10:33 PM
@UlrikeFischer @barbarabeeton I did wonder about saying more (or less) it's a a bit hard to know where to balance it really, especially at this point in the course when there are so few examples you can give without forward references. Could probably add a sentence saying that newdocumentcommand takes the command name, an argument consisting of a list of argument specifications, and then the body of the definition

11:09 PM
@DavidCarlisle Why are we talking about stairs in German? :)

@AlanMunn @UlrikeFischer isn't a linguist like us, she probably got the German wrong.