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Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 26 Nov 1998 16:04:41 +0100
text/plain (42 lines)
At 13:27 +0100 1998/11/26, Marcel Oliver wrote:
>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
>criterion should be that this standard does not assume that the file
>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.

I recall I suggested that LaTeX ought to have a well-defined syntax, in say
EBNF like other computer languages. The problem is that there is no way
within TeX to ensure that authors use that syntax. Further, TeX integrates
authoring and typesetting in a way, making the task even more difficult.

  So it's not really an option within the current TeX: Add integrated Yacc
and Lex to TeX, and it becomes possible.

>Hans Aberg wrote:
>> I think this will affect also scientific publishing: A lot of
>> scientific results can be better presented using multimedia. Even in
>> pure math, one
>True, but I think this is something that is very far from the areas
>where LaTeX is the optimal engine,

Not really, take a program like Maple where you want the output to be both
notationally and mathematically correct: It is the need for pasting valid
formulas into a document and them cut them and repaste them that drives
this question.

>and a unifying approach would be
>even more utopic, so I think this should not be of immediate concern

It is another matter that it is not really possible to achieve this within
the current LaTeX, because of the same reason as above, the failings of TeX.

  Hans Aberg
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