Friday, February 27, 2015

LaTeX Class and Template for IIUM Thesis

Moaaz Elhag Ali (email address in the .cls file) has created a LaTeX thesis class and template for the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), by modifying the UMalayaThesis class files. He has requested that I host the files here so that it may benefit IIUM students. iiumthesis.cls and template files can be downloaded here.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Monday, December 29, 2014

Malaysian University Thesis Templates on Overleaf

There, I’ve gone and published my thesis document classes and templates on Overleaf (previously writeLaTeX).

At some point I’ll probably get round to uploading the university-themed beamer templates, too. :-)

(A little more information about Overleaf after the divider and disclaimer)

(Disclaimer: I provide LaTeX-related community support for Overleaf — so you probably won’t want to just take my word for the following; go try it out yourself! :-)

Overleaf provides an online collaborative environment for authoring and publishing research using LaTeX. One nice thing about Overleaf is the rich text mode — which hides most LaTeX stuff from collaborators who are not familiar with it.

Another nice thing is the commenting facility.

So if you’d like to use LaTeX to write your thesis but your supervisor balks at it, try introducing them to Overleaf’s rich text mode and commenting feature. They just might be convinced!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

umalayathesis Updated

The umalayathesis document class (for Universiti Malaya theses) has been updated — you can now include a Malay abstract in addition to the English abstract. Download here, or get it from bitbucket.

Friday, September 26, 2014

My slides source codes for MOSC 2014 talks

I presented something on Android Kernel/ROM at the Malaysian Open Source Conference (MOSC) 2014. I did my presentation with beamer. Here are the slides and the source codes at Github

Source at github, here

Thursday, September 18, 2014

IguanaTeX — a free, open-source LaTeX plugin for PowerPoint

(Reblogged from Jonathan Le Roux's G+ page)
Hi! If you are using PowerPoint on Windows and are looking for a convenient way to insert LaTeX equations, I'd like to suggest trying out IguanaTex, which I am now in charge of developing:
It's a good and free alternative to the now apparently abandonned TexPoint.

The LaTeX displays created with IguanaTex support formatting (rotation, resizing, color fills, etc), animations, as well as inclusion in groups (even hierarchical): they can be edited while retaining all these properties.

I hope you like it.


Give it a spin!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

LaTex & Thesis: FOUR good reasons.

During my degree in 2002, most of my assignments and the final year project report is done in Microsoft Word 97, a WYSIWYG type word processor. For a person first time using a computer (for official reason, other than Daytona USA, minesweeper and the dial-up type internet surfing :)), this what-you-see-is-what-you-get word processor is actually impressive for me on the things it can do, BUT I notice something, some patterns,
  • chances of my computer getting crashed is directly proportional to the importance of the document, for example -  the chances of my computer getting crashed when I'm writing my report for the final year project is HIGHER compared to when I'm a writing a letter to ask permission for motorcycle sticker.
  • chances of my computer getting crashed is inversely proportional to the time left for my deadline, for example - the chances of my computer getting crashed when I'm writing my report for the final year project when the deadline is tomorrow is HIGHER than the deadline 1 week ago.
Well this theory is not proven, this is my 'syok sendiri teori'. I noticed one thing in common in the patterns above is the size of the documents. My computer actually crashed (this is in 2002, currently in 2014 - it does not crash but it will run in slow motion :)) because it cannot handle the size of my file getting into. A computer crash commonly occurs when a hardware exception occurs that cannot be handled.

This waste my effort and time.

FOUR good reason I found to start using LaTex for my thesis.

ONE. Scalability - As I mentioned earlier - the size of your document. Word (or even Open Office) can get slower when editing large documents with equations and figures. In LaTex, I break my thesis into smaller chunks (like one chapter per file) and then let LaTex combine them altogether. This also lead to more organizable and manageable documents.

An interesting graph from Marko Pinteric showing the relation between document size and effort / time required.

TWO. Support - Excellent support from the web community, one such example is the Malaysian LaTex User Group blog. I can 'google' any matter related to LaTex and come up with a solution.

Also local university thesis template is available in LaTex, thanks to good people that created and shared it for free. You can get it from here Malaysian University Thesis LaTex Template.

THREE. Interoperability - LaTex is OS independent. An actual LaTex file is merely a text file, which is just about the most portable format in computing. So I found no problem writing my Chapter 1 in a Fedora system and then shared it with my supervisor in a Windows system.

FOUR. Quality - This is my personal belief and maybe few others, I feel that documents produced using LaTex looks better and more professional compared to Word, especially if it involved mathematical equations and algorithms. I will let you to try and decide upon by yourself.

You should NOT use LaTex if,
  1. You don't have time to learn it. - You' re reaching a deadline, you better stick with what you know first.
  2. Your document is already written - You had written your thesis in Word and need to submit in two days. Well my friend, I found no good reason to convert to LaTex and submit it.
Excellent write-up from external links.
Just google 'advantage and disadvantage of LaTex', you can find so many sources available out there.
  • and many more ...
As a conclusion, there is no winner whether its LaTex or Word (or other type of WYSIWYG editor). 

If you need to write a short letter, you are best writing in Word. For simple documents, you can save time by writing in Word or Open Office.

If you are writing a long document like a Master or PhD thesis, I think it is better with LaTex. It will be slower at the beginning (the extra time required to learn LaTex), but at the end it will save a lot of your time and effort.