Why mapm?

In the vein of why latexmk I will explain why I wrote mapm in the first place. That way, when you know what annoyed me enough to finally write this software, you will have a good idea as to what it does.

When you are writing a math contest, you typically have problems.tex:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}

\section{Problem 1}
What is $1+1$?
\end{document}

and solutions.tex, which typically contains an answer key as well:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}

\section{Answers}
\begin{enumerate}
    \item $2$
\end{enumerate}

\section{Problem 1}
What is $1+1$?

\subsection{Solution}
It is $2$.
\end{document}

Let’s say you want to change problem 1. Then you have to edit the problem in problems.tex and solutions.tex, as well as the answer and solution in solutions.tex. That is four places you have to update. And it gets even worse if you want to switch two problems: that’s 8 updates. And what if you want to move everything down one slot, because your current contest is too hard? So on and so forth.

So you either have two choices: get lazy and do a sloppy job because editing a draft takes forever, even though you know exactly what you want to put in, or use software that handles compilation for you given a set of problems. I really care about the quality of my contests, so I choose the latter.

With mapm, all you have to do is the following: change

problems:
  - one-plus-one

to

problems:
  - two-plus-two

One change is one change. That’s how it ought to be. The rest of the spec involves telling mapm how to determine what problem one-plus-one refers to, and how to properly build a contest. Once you think about it that way, it is very obvious what mapm does.