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Chris Rowley <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 6 Nov 1998 16:37:49 +0100
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David Carlisle wrote --
> I'll get ticked off by Chris for being seriously off topic but...

Tick, tick!!

My feeling is that yes, the details of *ML sybtax are not relevant,
but the topic of "authoring structured documents" is pertinent.

I think, judging by his later remarks, that perhaps Sebastian misled
me when he wrote:

> millions and millions of
> people write HTML happily every day,

I though he meant "by hand" but I susepct he means they use authoting
tools that produce HTML.  A very diferent meaning of "write" as well as
of "is"??

> a tiny proportion write
> LaTeX. what does that suggest?

1.  That a lot more applications van be used as authoring tools for HTML.

2.  That nearly all documents at present prepared for wweb publication
can be adequately desribed in HTML.

Of ocurse, there is a dinosaur-and-egg set-up here: people may really
want to produce large quantities of easily browsable, well-designed,
complex documents for we publishing but cannot do so whilst they are
constarined by many factors to using HTML.

This is pertinent since many of the detailed contributions seem to me
to imply that people both do and will and should produce LaTeX by
hand-coding.  I do not think that they should; I am sure that they no
longer need to do so.

Thus I feel that whatever document-level syntaxes(sp??) a future
version of LaTeX will read, they should be designed to clearly
represent the full complexity of the documant and its structure, not
to be easily hand-codable.  Of course, backward-compatibility needs to
be sensible dealt with but we do not need to be compatible at the
authoring-tools level since we can assume that old authoring methods
will never need to be used again.

Maybe a controverial paragraph, but something that needs discussion and

I hope that Frank made clear the imprtance of your "homework": (my
trouble is that, as a teacher, the "importance of homewrok" has never
been questionable:-) and that you can see that it is relevant, at least
somewhat, to the above.