First Post: PreTeXt Plans

Currently in the middle of populating this site with more content, and converting my MAT202 course notes from $\LaTeX$ to PreTeXt. I find XML to be clunky, so far but the PDF format is quite rigid and not the best in terms of accessibility, and I really like PreTeXt for this. See this page for information about how PreTeXt materials follow recommendations for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Also, being mobile-friendly is a big deal. Ever try reading a 10pt font size PDF while on the subway? pinch and zoom and pan… not the best experience.

One of the guiding principles of PreTeXt is

PreTeXt documents serve as a single source which can be easily converted to multiple other formats, current and future.

For instance, other than HTML, PreTeXt can output $\LaTeX$ files I can compile if I still wanted a PDF version of the notes. Although, it won’t look as pretty as my original notes since I won’t necessarily have full control over the style of the PDF produced. Moreover, it seems there is an EPUB conversion process that is still experimental, but is exciting! (Imagine reading your math textbook on your e-reader!)

I plan to eventually produce videos and embed them in the online notes, so students have an all-in-one learning experience that (hopefully) flows well, with mini-exercises (checkpoints) and reading questions interspersed throughout.

For the writing process I’ve been using Sublime Text 3, which has been a great experience so far. All my $\LaTeX$ is produced in vim so I miss my macros and shortcuts but I bet there are some features in Sublime that I don’t know about yet.

Anyway, so the hope is that whatever I produce for MAT202 this coming year can be used for future iterations of the course. So a lot of work now should translate to less work down the road. ☺️

TJ Yusun
TJ Yusun
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
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