Note: Some of the content on this page is based on Max's personal opinion.
We commonly need to create create written articles of various formats and lengths as well as other visual material such as posters or slideshows. Most of the content gets used multiple times, yet the look and feel of the visual medium can vary wildly — ranging from phone screens over books to video projectors. Making the content look good and, ideally, reusing it in other documents involves adapting its style to the respective medium. For this reason, static content is bad.
Keeping in mind that technology is likely to evolve and these problems may all be a thing of the past 5 to 10 years from now, we have to be content with the best option available today, which is to use LaTeX for all our content and make a static PDF for each envisioned medium. While at least most computer screens are about the same aspect ratio and size today, the variety of phone screens limits what we can do with a handful of PDFs. It is, however, clear that paper and anything electronic are incompatible in terms of page layout, so a written document cannot be produced with fewer than 2 PDF files, and then screen presentations etc. are yet another matter.
Letting a writer define their own page layout (margins etc.) almost universally leads to a terrible result because few people have a good understanding of typography<ref> As a rule of thumb, the average number of characters per line should not be much greater than 60. With the exception of two-column layouts commonly found in journals, most pieces of scientific writing violate this rule, making it hard to read more than a page or two without getting fatigued. However, two-column layouts, while allowing for an acceptable line width for readability, cause different problems:
- Any mismatch between page geometry and screen/paper geometry is exacerbated: If you have to zoom in to be able to read the font, you will need to scroll back to the beginning of the page to see the second column.
- Some elements (figures, tables, equations) may need to be wider than a single column. While this can be accomplished by making them span across both columns, that makes the zooming issue even worse.
- More to come