Thesis simple setup with Subversion

This setup gives you a good start when writing a thesis or other large LaTeX document. It sets up a Subversion repository for version control of your thesis (very important), bibtex for references, and makeindex for an index. It is specifically designed as a template for a masters thesis, but is easily modifiable to suit other needs. This template is a stripped down and slightly modified version of what I have used in my masters thesis, which can be downloaded from the menu on the left.

Note the commands shown should work, but might be far from optimal (repository structure, setting path, +++).

  1. Create a svn repository e.g., called thesis
    • mkdir ~/svn && cd ~/svn
    • svnadmin create --fs-type fsfs thesis
  2. Check out the initial revision of the repository
    • cd ~ && svn co file://`pwd`/svn/thesis thesis && cd thesis
  3. Copy the setup there
    • cp -r ~babrodtk/www_docs/files/latex/thesis/* .
  4. Copy third-party scripts to bin directory for additional features (word-count and automatic compilation)
  5. Add files to subversion repository
    • svn add *
  6. Make the directory for personal LaTeX packages not installed sitewide
    • mkdir -p ~/texmf/tex/latex
  7. Download packages needed, and install into the newly created texmf-tree
  8. Update the ls-R databases LaTeX uses to find installed packages
    • texhash
  9. Try to compile using rubber, it should work
    • rubber -pd -mgraphicx thesis.tex
  10. commit the repository
    • svn ci -m"Added babrodtks really cool thesis-setup"

Hints and tips

  • Keep only source files in the repository. Do not add compiled files (this includes compiled XFig figures ++)
  • Always set a comment for each repository commit.
  • Use XFig for figures, and latex fonts. It looks very neat whenever you have mathematical notation in your figures.
  • Save often, check in often
  • Keep all files needed to compile the project in the repository (including packages such as breakurl, etc). I was very thankful that I did that when my computer died one week before delivery.
  • To use LaTeX with your favourite editor with on-demand compilation, use atchange. To use reverse search (ctrl+click in xdvi to go to the corresponding line in your editor) and forward search (shortcut in your editor to go to the corresponding place in xdvi) take a look at this page.

Useful packages

The following packages are some of the packages that I find useful, and most can be found on CTAN

  • uio-beamer -- Beamer theme for UiO, including IFI (hint: ask Dag Langmyhr, or play around with locate)
  • fncychap -- Fancy chapter pages
  • fancyhdr -- Fancy headers
  • chngcntr -- Change counters
Log In Page last modified on April 21, 2008, at 08:06 PM