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Sean Allred <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 27 Jan 2014 13:02:29 -0500
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Hello everybody,

I recently asked a question on TeX.SX about potential graphical
interfaces for document authors/designers with the new layering system
of LaTeX3, but Joseph pointed out that it was probably more suited for
this list.  I reproduce it below:

> With the separation of document authorship, design, and
> implementation, is a graphical tool for the end-user within reach?
> LyX tries to do this today, but LaTeX2e is not well-designed for such
> an approach.  In essence, this is what LaTeX3 tries to fix: authors
> must not be concerned with how their document looks in contest with
> the actual content of their work.  While LaTeX2e did successfully
> separate markup from implementation, it could not cleanly separate the
> *design* from its implementation (and everyone and their mother has a
> word to say about design---this isn't going to change).  The layers of
> LaTeX3 are designed to separate the implementation/coding from the
> design from the content.  The amazing work so far on LaTeX3 is proof
> enough that many people believe this separation is possible---myself
> included.
> Given this ideal of separation, will it be feasible for there to be
> environments in which to author and design LaTeX documents in a way
> that will put the power of LaTeX and `expl3` in high demand?

So there you have it---given that the entire LaTeX3 system (looking also
at `xtemplate`) seems to be going toward an system that has entirely
different interfaces for more well-defined roles, has a truly graphical
front-end (*not* a front-end such as LyX) been brought up?

The `expl3` underworkings of the system must still be used directly as
text---it doesn't make sense any other way---but there should be no
reason an author should see this.  The simplicity of `xtemplate`s
interface would allow for easy parsing, and graphical interfaces to
objects/templates might be feasible.

I think that this, if done properly and with a learning curve that is
more like a learning *flat-line*, will put forth a lot of demand for
LaTeX systems and `expl3` programmers, who in turn will create more and
more modules that are available for use over CTAN in some standardized
format (a la TDS).

Thanks for your time,