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Sender: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 23:59:34 +0200
Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
From: Torsten Bronger <[log in to unmask]>
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In-Reply-To: <[log in to unmask]> (Boris Veytsman's message of "Fri, 18 Jul 2003 16:58:17 -0400")
Organization: Aachen University of Technology (RWTH)
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Boris Veytsman <[log in to unmask]> writes:

> JS> Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 03:16:32 +0200
> JS> From: Joachim Schrod <[log in to unmask]>
> JS>  -- Actually, IMO the main disadvantage of TeX markup is the
> JS>  shortage of skillfull people in the job market to implement that
> JS>  markup.  That makes any manager worth his salary shy away from
> JS>  TeX. For me, that's the main reason to use XML, I find more
> JS>  people with the needed skills.
> This brings the question, which I hope is NOT off topic here. Why is
> the situatoion on the job market so skewed? I personally find TeX
> markup much more "natural" and easy than XML -- why do most people
> think otherwise?

It's very very difficult to parse arbitrary TeX.  And it is very
difficult for authors to use a clearly defined subset of (La)TeX
that a certain parser could understand -- everybody wants to
"improve" the output with own fancy structures.

LaTeX is only defined as "producing no error messages if compiled
against its mindbogglingly complex core code", whereas XML is
defined via EBNF.

> Is there a "silver bullet" in XML markup that helps thousands
> people understand it?

I think eventually we won't actually see XML anymore.  We will use
e.g. systems like LyX that use XML as the underlying format, and
that call TeX for decent typesetting.  XML is not for the human eye
in my opinion.

Until then, you can make XML rather bearable.  Joachim's problems
with micro-typography, space handling, and TeX markup in special
situations (in particular in formulae) can be dealt with in XML
applications.  The problem is that in most cases the XML people
just don't care.


Torsten Bronger, aquisgrana, europa vetus