4:45 AM
@Rmano :D

11 hours later…
3:21 PM
Added a new category of macros to my thesis class: appeasement macros.

@AlanMunn appeasing exams office with double spaced helvetica?

@AlanMunn Redefining \relax? :D

@TeXnician \def\relax{\exercise} (surprise gym session)

@DavidCarlisle No, macros that tweak the spacing that the thesis office consistently measures inconsistently. The rules call for "one double space" but they don't actually know what they mean by that, so different bureaucrats measure it differently.
@DavidCarlisle And the idea that this actually matters other than to assert bureaucratic power is obviously insane.

@AlanMunn I was going to suggest that you provide \coverletter that makes a letter along the lines of "this is three year's research, the fonts and spaces really don't matter, stop being annoying and pass this to the thesis reviewers"

3:35 PM
@DavidCarlisle I'm reading a thesis draft at the moment, and I beg to differ. :P

@DavidCarlisle Indeed. Although in the American system the thesis office only gets involved after the thesis is defended and passed, which makes it even more ridiculous. Especially because in most fields nobody other than the committee will ever read the thing. (Not actually true in linguistics; my thesis continues to be read and cited regularly, but linguistics is an outlier I suspect).

@mickep there was a time when they'd give you a phd for a manuscript done on a typewriter....

@DavidCarlisle Yes, there was also a time when Britannia ruled the waves...

@mickep Yes, but I'm sure you're not concerned that there's slightly more or less than one baselineskip between the author's name and the text of the abstract...

@mickep doesn't she still?

3:38 PM
@AlanMunn Oh no. :(
@DavidCarlisle Oh

@mickep Yes, it's this level of pettiness combined with inconsistent measurement of undefined measures that make this so awful.

@AlanMunn And you have to manage it? I feel for you.

@mickep Well I don't have to, but it's a useful service to the students of the university as a whole, and saves them most of the hassle. I first wrote the class to avoid having to help my own students meet the requirements. Since the requirements are designed by people who have no concept of typography or of any method other than Word, they're not always straightforward to implement in LaTeX, so it helps a lot to have some experience behind it.
@mickep Compared to some institutions, the requirements are not that awful, but the biggest problem is that they are not consistently applied because different staff members seem to have different ways to measure things.

@AlanMunn I see. Here we are supposed to use Garamond. Some crappy template is circulating mixing Garamond with computer modern, so I feel one should make a better template. But difficult to get the motivation and time for it, so far.
@AlanMunn Oh no.

3:54 PM
@mickep For example, the copyright page says "the text block can be placed anywhere on the page but the text must be left aligned". So for the past ten years the page has had the block itself aligned at the right bottom. But last month they complained that it needed to be on the left. But only for that particular student on that particular day, because otherwise I would be receiving constant reports, and I'm not.

@mickep No, I just made a starred version, but some of the internal commands definitely have stupid as part of their names. :)

@AlanMunn -- That;s quite a fine Mad Hatter sort of hat.

@barbarabeeton Indeed. But mainly she's ruling the waves. :)

@AlanMunn -- She certainly has an appropriate wave for every occasion.

4:07 PM
@AlanMunn Oh, so polite. :)

4 hours later…
@AlanMunn lucky I'm an expert at all things Mac, as well as linguistics..

@DavidCarlisle Yes, I read the log too fast.
@DavidCarlisle Well, after all you only use eMacs so it makes sense. :)
Google is upping the game in search engine humour.

9:01 PM
@AlanMunn :-)

@AlanMunn reminds me of a bug with the tag pages on SO the other week. One would get these lovely MS Office questions when visiting the latex tag

@samcarter Well only first of the two images I posted can be considered a bug. :)

@AlanMunn Ditto. I'm not sure which tag would have shown the latex questions instead, but for them this would clearly have been a reason for joy and not a bug :)

2 hours later…
10:56 PM
what is with this new thing to add headlines such as "Problem Description" or "MWE" to existng questions? I mean, it does structure the question, but why does this suddenly come up?

@mickep oh no