Wednesday, August 18

in honour of the last minute hack

Through the ages, people have been plagued by deadline pressure. Nothing very remarkable in and of itself, especially if you're a born procrastinator like the author. But the trouble is that when you are faced with time pressure and a must finish situation, the niceties, the trimmings and the gold plate (a friend calls this "moving in fish tanks and potted plants") are the first things to be sacrified on the altar of timely completion.

In the grand tradition of getting things done and worrying about the consequences later, we've seen such monstrosities as the single pixel gif trick, HTML tables for formatting and other hideous creations. You know it's wrong, but you do it anyway, because the alternative is to not finish on time. So it was with my last minute formatting panic. At some level, I know using LaTex tables to hold images is just plain wrong. But it worked.

I sacrificed the elegant and the neat, and possibly the correct solution; for a hack. Like the Marine Corps credo of charging massively through the jungle like a rhino, regardless of obstacle, I did my bull-in-a-china-shop routine and "fixed" the images inside a hideously complicated table structure.

Now that I've blogged about it, I feel much better about dillydallying till the last possible minute to actually typeset the silly paper in the first place.


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