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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Sebastian Rahtz <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 13 Feb 2001 23:27:41 +0000
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (52 lines)
Frank Mittelbach writes:

 > but it doesn't go all the way and I guess something like LaTeX still has a
 > place in the game; so far I don't quite believe in XSL engines that drive a

quite. this is a criticism of XSL Formatting Objects, not XML or
Unicode, which is the core consideration.

 > low-level formatter which is not capable of properly quering its generated
 > typography data (something TeX(variant) systems can).

I agree with you that this is desirable; and essential for certain
types of design. but will you bet your whole kit and caboodle on those
design features, at any price? Thats the dilemma *I* find myself
in. And do I still use TeX? Yes, I do, every day, and hack macros in
that ghastly collection of grunts Knuth called a language. But that's
because TeX is a very stable, efficient, typesetting program capable
of dealing with any document from a 1 page memo to a 25000 page
telephone bill. NOT because TeX can interact with its generated
typography data!

.... (another message) ...

 > he is right though about one point: I'm very much interested in concepts and
 > algorithms for high quality typesetting and think that TeX is a good basis
 > to actually explore them. Strangely enough a lot of people still turn to it
 > (LaTeX) when it comes to formatting XML and other documents.

Us TeX people like to think this is so. Yet, in my daily perusal of
XML-related publications, newsgroups and maillists, do I see any
evidence? no, not much. Try it yourself. Go to the bookshop, open each
of the XML books on the shelves (you should see 30 or 40), and look up
TeX in the index. Search for the word "TeX" in the archive of an
average XML mail group. Even IBM abandoned their strange TeXML, so far
as one can tell.

.... (another message) ...

 > remains to be seen. in the long term most likely yes, but how many of the
 > people on this list can easily (in their favorite editing system) edit or
 > generate a utf8 encoded file? hands up?

since I only write English, I just write my ordinary file in emacs,
and call it UTF8, and hey presto..  - so my hand is up.  If I write in
Portuguese, I write a file in iso-8859-1, and let the application
transcode it to Unicode internally :-}

its a doddle in Word, of course. I presume that is the favourite (sp.)
of some people. Its a good editor in many ways.