Reasons why I love LaTeX and despise Ubuntu

Debian Main

As any G+ user with any interest yesterday I decided to publish my blog post about biblatex and BibTeX on the LaTeX community page on G+. I had several answers which made me realize I am using a very old version of the TeXLive suite, namely the 2009 one, and that there is a new version in which some of the features I described yesterday are disappered making the biblatex system very usable and make it unleash its full power. As a first thing biblatex has become indipendent from BibTeX even for sorting the bibliography and now it has its own sorting program called Biber. The 2012 TeXLive suite contains both biblatex and biber. The usage of packages babel and csquotes are not required but only recomanded. This is important because without the babel specification biblatex set its language automatically to be American English. Anyway since the babel package is highly recomanded even in writing in english this is not a great problem.
Furthermore with biblatex one no longer needs to add a toc line in order to get the bibliography displayed in the table of contentes, but the right way to call the bibliography will be:





bibintoc makes the bibliography appear at the highest sectioning level. If you want the second highest sectioning level you may write:


Then in order to have your bibliography sorted and written on the output file using Biber you have to run put on the options of the biblatex package the line backend=biber and then run latex, biber and again latex once and not twice:

latex filename.tex
biber filename
latex filename.tex

Be sure to not specify the extension of the file using biber or it will search for the file filename.tex.bcf which obviously don’t exist. Biber has been instructed to recognize even the old BibTeX records journal and and address so that the BibTeX bibliographical databases can be safely used even under biblatex.

So of yesterday’s post the only valid point is that on the “human factor”: to have correctly working biblatex system one must be up to date at the 2012 edition of the TeXLive. Users of Ubuntu like me may be misled from the fact that the edition of the TeXLive in the Ubuntu reposistories seems to be up to date, when it is not. Indeed the version on the Ubuntu repositories is the 2009 version, which as stated yesterday don’t include the biblatex and the csquotes packages which have to be installed separately and mainly there is an unresolved dependency on Biber. So the better thing to do in such case is to install the new TeXLive version that you may find on the official site of TeXLive and remove the old version of Ubuntu’s TeXLive. The guide to the TeXLive installation is very good so I think there’s no need to add anythin. The only thing I want to point at is how to remove the version of TeXLive of Ubuntu: you just have to run the following commands:

sudo apt-get purge tex-common texlive-base texlive-full
suto apt-get autoremove

and then install the new version.


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About klemvor

Studente di matematica a Trieste, ma nativo della verde (e poco più) Umbria, Fisico-Matematico, Lovecraftiano, Metallaro.

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