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 Sender: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]> Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 16:14:20 +0200 Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: XML, UTF-8 and TeX engines MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit In-Reply-To: Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 From: Joachim Schrod <[log in to unmask]> Parts/Attachments: text/plain (85 lines) >>>>> "LH" == Lars Hellström <[log in to unmask]> writes: LH> At 11.07 +0200 2003-07-17, Joachim Schrod wrote: LH> TeX missing elementary boolean clauses? They're not there as LH> primitives, but they are not hard to define as macros. And then comes your explanation:     A "boolean expression" is something which in the mouth expands to 0 or 1.     The following take boolean expressions as arguments and may themselves be     used as boolean expressions.     \def\boolean@not#1{\if#10\expandafter1\else\expandafter0\fi}     \def\boolean@implies#1#2{\if#10\expandafter1\else#2\fi}     \def\boolean@and#1#2{\ifnum #1#2>10 \expandafter1\else\expandafter0\fi}     \def\boolean@or#1#2{\ifnum #1#2>\z@ \expandafter1\else\expandafter0\fi}     (The \expandafter commands are not necessary, but they help a bit with     cleaning things up.)     The tricky part is of course that not everything one might want to test     (such as the existence of a file) can be done entirely with TeX primitives     that expand in the mouth, but that is another matter. The TeX macro     language as such is both powerful and elegant, even though it is also     rather bizarre, but on the other hand one can say the same about lambda     calculus. If you see this complicated explanation as appropriate for such simple thing as boolean expressions, then we surely have different opinions about appropriateness. But at least we seem to agree that TML is rather bizarre; and the comparison to lambda calculus is a good one: IMNSHO nobody wants to produce Real Systems(tm) in lambda calculus. LH> Contrary to the opinions commonly raised on this list the last two LH> week, I don't think the TeX macro language is the weakest part of LH> TeX, even though it could certainly do with some extensions for LH> LaTeX (in areas such as command argument processing, keyval-style LH> value assignments, and calc-style arithmetic). It is not LH> surprising however that it is the part that is giving the *ML LH> people the most trouble, and that probably accounts for most of LH> the "bad press" it has been given. I disagree here. It doesn't give the *ML people any trouble, because almost all of them give a sh*t about TeX, they (try to) design and implement everything anew. Since they don't use it they have no trouble with it. I haven't read TeX macro complaints from them at all, where is the "bad press" you're talking about? And, please don't make the error of counting me in. My writing about the TeX Macro Language comes from 21 years experience of TeX programming, and have nothing to do with XML or SGML. And I'm proud to be a TeXie since 1982 -- I still like its markup syntax much more than XML for several reasons that are really off topic here. I don't like the way style sheets (i.e., typesetting specs implementations) for this markup language are implemented, and think that both the TeX and XML world have very large deficiencies in that matter. Talk to a book designer -- and see the semantic distance from their mental models to implementations in (La)TeX and XSLT/FOP. IMO a possible research agenda would strive to close that gap with radical new approaches. But that has nothing to do with LaTeX any more, so we should close the discussion on this list RSN. LH> If you want to look at a part of TeX that is _weak_, then consider LH> alignments. I know. If you'll ever come to a TeX conference, meet Chris Rowley and myself there. We're discussing that topic since more than 10 years. No practical solution in sight... ;-) Cheers,         Joachim -- =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 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