Frank Mittelbach writes:
>i think to a large extend i hope to be able to reassure you. If you
>look at the goals of the latex3 project as outlined in ltx3info.tex
>you will find that it is very much concerned in serving the authors
>--- as well as the professionals.
thank you very much for your very reassuring statement on the
>(and, if i may say so, wonder tools like MSword are getting better)
Admittedly, I have not had a closer look at text processors like the
one you've mentioned above (why should I - LaTeX positively fulfills
my needs). Less than a year ago, I learnt from a collegue that he had
returned to LaTeX after a short period of using a commercial program
simply because he neither liked the results he had been able to
achieve nor the crashes he had seen...
As far as the widespread use of LaTeX is concerned, my impression,
however unhappy I may be about it, is that those who now prefer text
processors are very happily designing and laying-out their texts
(usually with results of a very limited quality). Those few that I
have been able to talk into using LaTeX for a while just to be able to
make a fair judgment on what tool might better serve their needs more
often than not mocked at the layout strengths of LaTeX because the
felt that they were confined in some sense, and most of them stopped
using LaTeX before really appreciating that it really did a better job
then they did in the area of designing layouts. For those (few) who
continued using LaTeX for a while, it became their favorite tool ...
If my experience with to-be LaTeX users were not too atypical, a
strengthening of the separation between content and form of a
document, which would really make LaTeX an even better and stronger
tool, might lessen its attractiveness for those who now use a
commercial text processor, simply because it will probably take even
longer for a (beginning) user of LaTeX (who has used the products
mentioned above before) to really appreciate its advantages. Even my
assertions were correct, they should still have no bearing on the
development of LaTeX3 - enhancing this fine tool should of course have
precedence over making it more attractive for first-time users.
Again, thank you very much for the great job you've done and continue
to do. I'm very much looking forward on the future versions of LaTeX.