arara v3 — music on CTAN and in TeX Live 2012

I have told you about arara (the cool TeX automation tool) already. But it is time to write more as there are great news: Paulo recently published v3 of arara. He uploaded this version to CTAN which means arara also made it into TeX Live 2012:

arara-tl

So, what’s new in arara v3? The documentation lists quite a lot:

  • Localized messages in English, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Turkish and Russian.
  • Improved error analysis for rules and directives.
  • Friendly and very detailed messages instead of generic ones.
  • An optional configuration file is now available in order to customize and enhance the application behaviour.
  • Improved rule syntax, new keys added.
  • Now rules are unified in a plain format. No more compiled rules.
  • Rules can allow an arbitrary number of commands instead of just one.
  • Built-in functions in the rule context to ease the writing process.
  • Improved expansion mechanism.

I for example now have set up arara to give messages in German:

arara-german

What I especially like about the new arara is its possibility to run “an arbitrary number of commands instead of just one”. This allowed me to write a rule for the work with MusixTeX. When using MusixTeX you have to run a separate program, musixflx, on your file (similarly to when you create an index or a bibliography) and re-run LaTeX afterwards. But you should also make sure you have deleted the auxiliary files that are created by musixflx before you run musixflx or you might end up with strange spacings and distorted layout. My musixtex rule for arara now takes care of all of this for me:

!config
# MusixTeX rule for arara
# author: Clemens Niederberger
# requires arara 3.0+
#
# 1) remove \jobname.mx1 and \jobname.mx2 if they exist first as
#    they might disturb a proper output
# 2) run @{engine} to produce a new \jobname.mx1
# 3) run musixflx to produce a new \joname.mx2
# 4) run @{engine} again to get the final output
#
identifier: musixtex
name: MusixTeX
commands:
- <arara> rm -f "@{getBasename(file)}.mx*"
- <arara> @{engine} "@{getBasename(file)}"
- <arara> musixflx "@{getBasename(file)}"
- <arara> @{engine} "@{getBasename(file)}"
arguments:
- identifier: engine
  flag: <arara> @{parameters.engine}
  default: pdflatex

So what is left to say? Of course: arara is awesome and if you haven’t tried it out yet now is the time to do so. If you have an up to date TeX Live arara should already be installed on your system so you can start right away. Have a look at the documentation which with TeX Live is now available on your computer:

texdoc arara

If your not working with TeX Live: arara now comes with an installer so installing it should be much easier now than ever. Just another reason to get started!

Enjoy arara and thus (La)TeXing even more :)

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