LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for LATEX-L Archives


LATEX-L Archives

LATEX-L Archives


LATEX-L@LISTSERV.UNI-HEIDELBERG.DE


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

LATEX-L Home

LATEX-L Home

LATEX-L  June 1997

LATEX-L June 1997

Subject:

Re: ideal future document processing environment

From:

Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 21 Jun 1997 14:39:44 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (130 lines)

Mark Steinberger writes:

 > Many publishers already rely on authors to do the initial stages of
 > typesetting.
 >
 > I suspect that the percentage of such publications is on the
 > increase, and that the trend will accelerate.

and even worse it looks as if the design is given more and more into
the hands of the authors as well (to save costs) not to speak of not
doing any copy-editing anymore, etc.

but only a small fraction of authors is trained in those skills, why
should they? and the result is that the publications get as good as
the software is (or rather as bad).

 > At least in mathematics, authors currently work in TeX (and if one is
 > lucky, latex). Authors may well be willing to learn a new system, but
 > only if they are given a good reason to do so.

right. and that is why i'm not thinking that switching LaTeX from TeX
to a successor just because it is better for the maintainers of LaTeX
(or mostly so, ie not having very visible advantages) will work at all.

 > Is there an adequate reason to move away from TeX? If not, then
 > authoring tools should be TeX-based.

depends on what criteria you put on and how you rate them.

 - if you are writing in english only, are satisfied with doing page
   breaking mainy manually, don't have figures or only occasionally,
   no multicolumn typesetting, etc, then TeX is fine as is

 - if you care about having a single system serving also the none
   english writers adequately, if you want high-quality automated page
   layout including multicolumns and figures then no, TeX isn't
   adequate (but there also isn't yet a real alternative in sight)

 - if you want multi-lingual typesetting (two languages are enough)
   then no, TeX isn't adequate

these are only some of the points but perhaps the most important
ones. Now most of these point might not appear very beneficial to you
as you personally do not seem to need them. perhaps that's true
enough, but if you take away the brought common basis and instead
replace it with many isolated versions of LaTeX then sooner or later
LaTeX will lose its importance and the maintenance will decline etc.

Even MS word is nowadays starting to bring together the different
versions for all the different markets as more and more
exchangeability becomes the driving factor.

btw, clearly author tools can and should be TeX based and all of the
current independent projects for successors of TeX, ie e-TeX, Omega,
pdftex are TeX based. In fact, if you use LaTeX on top of either of
them you will see no difference at all (or nearly none)

so in my eyes there are good reasons to move away from TeX as it is
but not many of them have a high visibility to the user (as seen from
his/her private direct needs). therefore such a move would only be
sensible if you could directly offer enormous benefits that directly
appeal to a critical mass of users.

as i said previously i see a good vehicle in the pdftex development,
unfortunately i don't see much in what is offered by either Omega or
e-tex. not because what they offer is not equally important (it is in
fact probably even more) but it is not something the majority of users
feel they need.

this is like the situation with latex209 to latex2e. at the end of 209
we had several incompatible versions all over the world and
maintenance and further development of packages and so on was greatly
hampered by that fact. Same for portability and exchangeability of
documents. But the portability problem was only noticed by those that
needed it (and a large majority did not) and the maintenance and
development problem was noticed but not rationalized. only because 2e
was otherwise successful it was also able to silently put in things
that were beneficial as a whole to the community.

--------------------

if the page breaking algorithm in a successor would be very much
improved or allow for improved logic (implemented in LaTeX, say) then
that might be a selling point but unfortunately that is one area where
it might take a very long time to see any further functionality.

--------------------

if you look at Omega right now then mainly this addresses a new
market: eastern europe, asia, ...

in itself very very important both to for the eventual survival of TeX
based systems as it would broaden the interest enormously as well as
in fact for the user of western european languages. but because 2e in
its present form already supports those languages somehow the
advantages are not that visible and who cares about the fact that
Vladimir complains that his TeX logs are all ^^xy ... the average
English or German writing LaTeX users? why should he? Me as a German
i'm already experiencing the same problem as Vladimir but it is
minimal as only the umlauts appear strangely.

and who sees that omega address multi-lingual typesetting properly, eg
the hyphenation and lowercase table problem we talked about on this
list not long ago and again it came from those people with their
strange languages (pardon me Vladimir, this is hypothetical talk) does
it concerns us?

--------------------

if you look at e-tex then it address several of the more technical
problems LaTeX development has struggled with (and i love using it for
debugging code with its extended tracing facilities) and it would be
very welcome to be able to use most of the other features as well in
the kernel. but would a user care to switch to a new latex just
because we internally implement things more elegantly (perhaps
introducing a lot of bugs in the first place)?

yes its mark mechanism could lead to visible enhancements but is this
enough for getting enough people to change?

---------------------

right now in my opinion non of the systems in itself have the power to
establish itself other than in a niche market of the already niche
market TeX, although either of the systems would be to the advantage
of the community if a more or less complete switch would be made.


enough for now
frank

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

September 2019
July 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
July 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
September 2007
August 2007
June 2007
May 2007
March 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
November 2004
October 2004
August 2004
July 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
October 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
March 2002
December 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.UNI-HEIDELBERG.DE

Universität Heidelberg | Impressum | Datenschutzerklärung

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager