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Marcel Oliver writes:
> 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

hmm. if you go this way, you may as well change the syntax, make it <
and >, so that what you treat as LaTeX is in fact valid XML.....

> 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.
now there i agree 100%, as I suspect They will too.

> It is important to keep in mind that most of the documents that we
> academics write don't go via a publisher. These are class notes,
> informal exchanges, short reports, grant proposals etc. Most of these
> are routine, but some are important and significant documents. Thus,
that people who spend 3 days tarting up the look of their grant
proposal don't deserve the grant :-}

...........
> In short, the fact that most publishers cannot accept a carefully
> prepared LaTeX file causes hours of proofreading on a level which is
> below the standard of the submitted document. We have every interest
> to avoid that, and I think that's the same for the publishing
> professions...
too right. i think the situation you describe is shocking, and I am
ashamed of my profession. seriously.

> > i know i sound like an evangelist, but XML/MathML/SVG really *are*
> > designed to cover this sort of game. your SVG graphic will embed
> > MathML markup cleanly.
>
> Again, are the necessary authoring tools available? Will it allow me
> to easily typeset (!) my personal documents?
have you actually *tried* Office 97 to compose your memos? Office 2000
will use VML, I understand. No,  I dont use it either, but really,
thats what most of the world typeset' with. its not THAT bad quality.

.....

> Would it be hard to write a script which takes an eps file, runs it
> through LaTeX/psfrag, and converts the dvi output back into eps with
> the same bounding box (preferably not using bitmapped fonts and
> including only those fonts that are needed)? This way one could meet
no. thats what i would do if i was asked to routinely handle psfragged
documents.

> Maybe one could even try to implement the equivalent of -Wall into the
> LaTeX engine (or as a package) so that authors could check without
ha. interesting idea.

> If someone now says why not SGML then: The advantage of LaTeX from the
> author's point of view is that it is a single platform for authoring,
> typesetting and document exchange (where, I believe, the problems can
ah, but see  above. is it *so* much harder to type

<documentclass name="article/>
<usepackage name="amsmath"/>
<document>
<section>Introduction</section>
$a+<sqrt>3</sqrt>$ <!-- or <tex>a+\sqrt{3}</tex> -->
This is <emph>fun</emph>
</document>

than the \ and {}? then you can run this through "LaTeX" as you do
now, but it has the benefit of also being XML to validate against a
DTD (if you wish). sure, you cannot use \catcode tricks, but you do
already accept the idea of a subset dialect. No, you don't have to
lose \def entirely.

Doug Lovell's TeXML (see http://www.ibm.com/xml) might be of interest
to people in this context.

My point is that "strict LaTeX" and "XML" are barely inches apart,
really. I know They will agree with this too....

Sebastian
`