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Sun, 20 Jul 2003 01:10:21 +0200
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Lars Hellström <[log in to unmask]>
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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At 23.54 +0200 2003-07-19, Torsten Bronger wrote:
>Lars Hellström <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>> At 15.54 +0200 2003-07-19, Torsten Bronger wrote:
>>> The intersting thing are editors for *special* XML applications.
>>> Let me dream a bit: All scientific publishers agree on an XML
>>> format and order a simple-to-use GUI program that can create
>>> these documents.  It runs on Linux, Windows, Mac, etc (because
>>> it's simple itself).  Authors can download it and write their
>>> articles with it.
>> Hmmm... Apart from copyright and the technical issue of using XML
>> as file format,
>Which issues?

Issue as in "technical detail", "item". Not issue as in "problem".

>> this sounds a lot like actual state of things with MS Word today
>> (it certainly dominates non-mathematical scientific
>> publishing). We know from experience however that it is no good.
>Apart from the XML syntax it has nothing to do with MS Word's XHTML
>derivative.  It doesn't contain any layout information for example.
>It is more like DocBook, possibly with a little bit visual markup in
>some (inline) places.
>>> Then there are no authors anymore that use exotic file formats,
>>> format their text in a very strange way, no employees of the
>>> publishers have to re-type the articles, authors don't lose time
>>> with superfluous typographical fine tuning, guideline can be made
>>> much simpler, archiving and retrieving is much simpler etc.
>> How on earth is changing a technical detail (using XML instead of
>> the admittedly exotic "Word memory dump" format) which most users
>> are supposed to never encounter going to effect such dramatic
>> improvements in author practices? (Of course, this bit could be
>> where the dreaming is applied.)
>Logical markup.  The author would be *forced* to focus on contents
>and structure.  There is no list of 150 fonts to choose from
>anymore, and no way to use an awful baseline skip, or to fake a
>glyph with fancy field tricks.  They must obey to a big part of the
>guidelines, no matter whether they want to or not, and whether they
>are typographically competent or not.

Oh yes, pretty much the old dream of the language that makes errors
impossible, although in a lighter form. It won't work. If you hide the
markup, then users won't care about getting it right, and then you haven't
won anything. Denying users features that they have grown accustomed to
will kill much of the popularity, and be prepared to see users violate
markup to get the appearence they want: if there is something that users
see rendered as "bold", there will be users that use it as "bold"
regardless of what the intended meaning is!

Lars Hellström