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"Michel Lavaud Orleans (France)" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 21 Jun 1997 12:42:20 +0000
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Sebastian Rahtz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>  > Is there an adequate reason to move away from TeX? If not, then
>  > authoring tools should be TeX-based.
> yes, there is a reason. it promotes abuse (mixing typesetting with
> structure), and its not very amenable to validation. well, all the
> reasons SGML was invented....

Mixing typesetting with structure might be considered as an abuse
from the publisher's point of view, as it makes his work of
uniformization of articles harder. But from the author's point of
view, I think that mixing typesetting with structure is a
necessity in the process of creating an article:

The structure of the document in its first stages is indicated
with punctuation marks, and typesetting indications such as
\smallskip, \hspace{2cm}, \bf or whatever extend the set of
punctuation marks available, and provide a convenient visual way
to refine the structure. This mimicks exactly what one does when
writing an article by hand.

Using SGML predefined types of structures in early stages of
writing an article would be too heavy, and would prevent the
author from concentrating on the contents of his article - which
is the really important point.

To summarize my opinion, I would compare (La)TeX to alcohol and
SGML to formol: TeX helps authors to create their articles, while
SGML helps publishers to embalm articles in their definitive
versions. As far as I am concerned: as an author, I would hate to
have to drink formol and I prefer to stick to (and develop)
TeX-based authoring tools.

And thanks to the LaTeX3 team and their beautiful work, even if
they promote abuse (mixing of alcohol with structure).

Michel Lavaud  ([log in to unmask])