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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 19:23:40 +0100
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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Jonathan Fine <[log in to unmask]>
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Tomorrow's TeX Hour will discuss tools for pretty-printing, lint, index and
other tools for processing LaTeX document source files. The usual LaTeX to
PDF provides value for those who read typeset documents (on-screen or when
printed). The focus tomorrow will be on tools that provide additional value
for those who read and write LaTeX source documents. Such tools are also a
route to improved accessibility.

Date and time: Thursday 16 September, 6.30 to 7.30pm UK time.
UK time now:
Zoom URL:

First some history, 1967 to 1994. Around 1967 Bill Gosper developed a
pretty-printer for LISP programs. In 1969 Wilfred Hansen developed a syntax
directed editor. In 1978 Stephen Johnson developed lint software while
debugging C source code. About 30 years ago Dave Raggett developed and
released HTML Tidy. In 1984 Don Knuth introduced literate programming,
which provides a book-like view of computer language source files. Around
1994 Nikos Drakos developed LaTeX2HTML.

Lint, HTML Tidy and LaTeX2HTML are all still in use today, as are tools for
syntax highlighting / structure editing. There are many benefits in having
similar tools for making LaTeX document source files more readable and
ultimately easier to edit.

All such tools have a single purpose: to provide added value to those who
read and edit LaTeX source documents. They should have a common core, the
parsing of LaTeX source files. These tools also have benefits, as Stephen
Johnson discovered, in software development. Here's a surprising example.

Leaders of the LaTeX3 team wish to generate tagged PDF from LaTeX source.
As tagged PDF to HTML is fairly trivial, they also wish to create another
LaTeX to HTML translator. A solid and reliable LaTeX to HTML translator can
provide scaffolding and a test framework for the LaTeX3 tagged PDF project.
It can also be used to specify the tagged output and test it for blind

Beginners and those who write documentation will get many benefits.
Wouldn't it be nice to upload a LaTeX source document and get back an HTML
view of the source document with errors and poor practice highlighted, and
links or tool-tip help for all the LaTeX commands and environments in the
source document.

For an example of what can be done see, the online
HTML markup corrector. In that context see also

Finally, of course, a solid and reliable LaTeX to HTML translator will
nicely complement LaTeX to tagged PDF. LaTeX to HTML will provide many
accessibility benefits earlier than LaTeX to tagged PDF can, train authors
and publishers to value and provide these benefits and so create a more
favourable environment for widespread adoption of LaTeX to tagged PDF.

You're invited to Thursday's TeX Hour: Pretty-print, lint and link LaTeX
source files
Date and time: Thursday16 September, 6.30 to 7.30pm UK time.
UK time now:
Zoom URL:
Meeting ID: 785 5125 5396
Passcode: knuth

Last week's TeX Hour was on rich DVI files and accessible PDF.  The videos
will within 4 hours be available at

Happy TeXing