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Sebastian Rahtz <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 26 Nov 1998 13:13:49 GMT
text/plain (82 lines)
Marcel Oliver writes:
 > So I conclude what I have been trying to say, maybe not so clearly,
 > before: We need a standard for portable LaTeX which is necessarily a
 > subset of the capabilities of native LaTeX. I think the strongest

hmm. if you go this way, you may as well change the syntax, make it <
and >, so that what you treat as LaTeX is in fact valid XML.....

 > is processed through a TeX backend. Also, this seems more or less
 > orthogonal to the goals of LaTeX3, because it is mainly a matter of
 > convention, and not of fundamental hacking in the LaTeX the program.
now there i agree 100%, as I suspect They will too.

 > It is important to keep in mind that most of the documents that we
 > academics write don't go via a publisher. These are class notes,
 > informal exchanges, short reports, grant proposals etc. Most of these
 > are routine, but some are important and significant documents. Thus,
my apologies. you ARE right about this. though I could and would argue
that people who spend 3 days tarting up the look of their grant
proposal don't deserve the grant :-}

 > In short, the fact that most publishers cannot accept a carefully
 > prepared LaTeX file causes hours of proofreading on a level which is
 > below the standard of the submitted document. We have every interest
 > to avoid that, and I think that's the same for the publishing
 > professions...
too right. i think the situation you describe is shocking, and I am
ashamed of my profession. seriously.

 > > i know i sound like an evangelist, but XML/MathML/SVG really *are*
 > > designed to cover this sort of game. your SVG graphic will embed
 > > MathML markup cleanly.
 > Again, are the necessary authoring tools available? Will it allow me
 > to easily typeset (!) my personal documents?
have you actually *tried* Office 97 to compose your memos? Office 2000
will use VML, I understand. No,  I dont use it either, but really,
thats what most of the world `typeset' with. its not THAT bad quality.


 > Would it be hard to write a script which takes an eps file, runs it
 > through LaTeX/psfrag, and converts the dvi output back into eps with
 > the same bounding box (preferably not using bitmapped fonts and
 > including only those fonts that are needed)? This way one could meet
no. thats what i would do if i was asked to routinely handle psfragged

 > Maybe one could even try to implement the equivalent of -Wall into the
 > LaTeX engine (or as a package) so that authors could check without
ha. interesting idea.

 > If someone now says why not SGML then: The advantage of LaTeX from the
 > author's point of view is that it is a single platform for authoring,
 > typesetting and document exchange (where, I believe, the problems can
ah, but see  above. is it *so* much harder to type

 <documentclass name="article/>
 <usepackage name="amsmath"/>
  <math>a+<sqrt>3</sqrt></math> <!-- or <tex>a+\sqrt{3}</tex> -->
 This is <emph>fun</emph>

than the \ and {}? then you can run this through "LaTeX" as you do
now, but it has the benefit of also being XML to validate against a
DTD (if you wish). sure, you cannot use \catcode tricks, but you do
already accept the idea of a subset dialect. No, you don't have to
lose \def entirely.

Doug Lovell's TeXML (see might be of interest
to people in this context.

My point is that "strict LaTeX" and "XML" are barely inches apart,
really. I know They will agree with this too....