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 Subject: Re: LaTeX3 goals (was Re: ideal future document processing From: Michal Jaegermann <[log in to unmask]> Reply To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]> Date: Sat, 21 Jun 1997 13:06:59 -0600 Content-Type: text/plain Parts/Attachments: text/plain (49 lines)
Frank Mittelbach writes:

>i think to a large extend i hope to be able to reassure you. If you
>look at the goals of the latex3 project as outlined in ltx3info.tex
>you will find that it is very much concerned in serving the authors
>--- as well as the professionals.

I think that it is important to remember that there are also whole
communities for which TeX (and LaTeX, in particular) changed the way in
which people are working over new results.  No, no publish, no writing
final version of papers, but work - make notes, rewrite them many times,
exchange them, etc.  - especially when co-workers in geographically
dispersed places are involved.

When I have seen Sebastians question why some SGML markup is less editable
than '\frac{a}{b}' I thought in the first moment "this guy is joking or
inhales too deeply who knows what".  Only later I realized that he sees
only the final stages of a science paper production so he can afford
to be stuck in some fixed environment where he may have some specific
editor making some hair-raising markup workable.  In "other reality" a
very important aspect of LaTeX is that you are sending the whole text,
or pieces of it, far away and you do not even bother to ask what your
respondent happens to run, on what, and which particular piece of an
editing software s/he has and likes/dislikes.  In e-mail exchanges I
have seen many times inserted pieces of "pseudo-TeX" and it was quite
obvious to senders that they will be understood.  You only swear from
time to time when some conference organizers decided to be "kind" and,
instead of an original TeX, they are sending you a piece of Postscript,
(or even worse - PDF)  which likely has a wrong resolution, wrong printer
mode, possibly fonts which you do not have on hand, and it does not fit on
your paper as your printer is using sheets of a different size.  Even this
can be survived and your co-workers are usually smarter than that. :-)

A similar thing can be observed with Math Department secretataries.
If they happen to type some piece of mathematics (it does not happen
too often nowadays) they type it once - so they are really happy with
something like Scientific World.  In a "working scientist" situation
this usually does not cut.

I realize that catering to such disparate needs is not an easy task
but if further developments would loose from sight needs of those
"consumers of TeX" then they risk that they will be totally ignored.
This group is not likely to return to exchanging of long-hand notes
or mimeographed sheets with all symbols inserted by hand (and
ensuing "fun" of decrypting what was really meant in some particular
place).

Michal