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]>
Thu, 17 Jul 2003 11:07:12 +0200
text/plain (47 lines)
>>>>> "WH" == William F Hammond <William> writes:

WH> Joachim Schrod <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>> But not necessarily the most interesting. There is also the
>> possibility of experimenting with new innovative approaches to style
>> sheets, given by modular XML processors like PXP and modular
>> typesetting engines like ant.

WH> James Clark once wrote somewhere that style sheet processing is a
WH> limited form of sgml processing, and I've never had reason to doubt it
WH> for author-side processing.  Don't underestimate the power of less
WH> restrained frameworks like David Megginson's perl module (and
WH> its friendly interface for formatting XML to LaTeX.

As much as I respect James, I can only agree with him here on a very
very abstract level. With "style sheets" above I didn't mean
transforming XML to other markup languages, I meant *directly*
typesetting XML documents, with a *very* high quality, and including
all necessary intermediate steps (insertions -- figures, tables,
footnotes, endnotes, marginal note; table of contents/figures/etc.,
cross references, complex counting schemes, bibliography, index
processing, etc: just look at all LaTeX packages or Context modules).
We don't have this today.

FOP, the XML style sheet communities answer to the task, is not up to
that demand; its capabilities are not enough. For imperative
programming languages like and their ilk, no typesetting
engine is available. XSLT is a write-only language when it comes to
implementing the "intermediate steps" above, that's no improvement to
TeX macro programming. It has poor semantics (like TeX, it's even
missing elementary boolean clauses), and its syntax is horrible to
read and thus maintenance is hard. Hopefully, development on the style
sheet front has not stopped here and will continue after the XML hype
is gone.


Joachim Schrod                                  Email: [log in to unmask]
Roedermark, Germany

        ``How do we persuade new users that spreading fonts across the page
        like peanut butter across hot toast is not necessarily the route to
        typographic excellence?''                       -- Peter Flynn