LATEX-L Archives

Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Joachim Schrod <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 13 Feb 2001 23:11:38 +0100
text/plain (78 lines)
>>>>> "SR" == Sebastian Rahtz <[log in to unmask]> writes:

SR> Joachim Schrod writes:
>> As an authoring language, XML is inadequate beyond recognition. It's
>> reasonably good for exchange of data and well suited for archiving
>> documents, but not made for human consumption.

SR> Between 1985 and 1999 I wrote LaTeX practically every day of my
SR> life. Since 1999 I have written XML practically every day. I barely
SR> notice the extra characters, and in general my day to day authoring is
SR> more satisyfying. No, I am not joking at all.

I believe you -- both, that you're doing it, and that you're not
joking. Remember, I saw you at Oxford, typing non-english characters
by using their Unicode numeric value. Horrible, honestly.

That's something you will be able to live with. (I don't, but I don't
need to.) I'm using XML heavily since it's available, and have used
SGML before for years. And I still think that from a technological
viewpoint, XML is much worse than SGML. (Making a language easier for
the parser writer and at quite some places harder to use for humans is
not a good road to go, IMO.) From a business viewpoint, that's a
completely different story, of course. :-) :-)

But let me try to focus on the topic at hand: XML does not suck for
you -- well, and also not for me, most of the time. We're happy with
Emacs or other programmer's editors and are used to structured
document markup. *BUT*, XML sucks for the "normal" people in the
companies where I do consulting. It needs a training effort that's not
affordable for almost all tasks. The training effort is even larger
than the one for LaTeX. That's what I meant when I wrote "inadequate
as authoring language".

>> still psgmls on (X)Emacs is one of the best authoring environments
>> around; that's a shame.

SR> why is it a shame? its an excellent editor. tried epcEdit :-}

Tell this the business managers of the companies I work for. They
won't make another meeting with you. (This won't bother you, I know;
but I have to earn the paychecks of my staff...)

>> and all showed that the hype that's spread by XML fanatics isn't worth
>> the paper it's printed on (or the disk space it's stored in). I'll
>> tell you, these projects were more than depressing...

SR> possibly, possibly not. but I bet we can both agree that they are more
SR> successful than the attempts to spread LaTeX in the `real' world!

The projects were _very_ successful when XML was introduced for
 (1) internal representation of data
 (2) communication of data between applications
 (3) specification of user interfaces by programmers (i.e., formalized
     documentation of the results of our UI designer -- who does great
     communication design but will never be able to grasp proper
     realization of the concept of non-presentational markup... :( )

The projects were failures when XML was introduced at the user level.
("User" here means staff of banks, like secretaries, etc.)

SR> In a moment, Frank will shout at me in private for getting off the
SR> subject of the list, and complain in public that no-one takes the L3
SR> research seriously enough.

He didn't, but I suspect just for your birthday. He may shout now at
me. :) :)



Joachim Schrod                                  Email: [log in to unmask]
Net & Publication Consultance GmbH              Tel.:  +49-6074-861530
Roedermark, Germany                             Fax:   +49-6074-861531