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  November 1998

LATEX-L November 1998

Subject:

Re: What is "base" LaTeX

From:

Marcel Oliver <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 24 Nov 1998 12:58:13 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (165 lines)

Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> Marcel Oliver writes:
>  > - Be sure that a document that I prepare will be accepted by a
>  >   reasonable publisher in my field for direct electronic submission,
>  >   and will not be retyped or otherwise mangled in unpredictable ways.
>  >
>  > - Allow my documents to be translated into other formats (HTML, XML or
>  >   whatever else may come along) with the least amount of losses.
> if you want to make publishers happy, why don't you *author* in XML?
> this publisher, at least, does not much want your LaTeX files, however
> clean...

Sorry, I think the discussion is going in circles.  What's the point
then
to improve LaTeX if I should author in XML?  I don't give a damm what
typesetting system I use, as long as it is widely available, at least
as powerful as LaTeX is, and it doesn't cost me any more effort to
author documents (after a reasonable initial learning period).

So should we improve LaTeX?  Just as a backend to an XML based system
it wouldn't be worth doing anything more than removing a few quirks from
the TeX engine.  So what are we doing here???

>  > Comments: this may seem rather trivial, but other than the AMS I
>  > haven't seen a publisher who didn't screw up on vanilla amsmath stuff
>  > (this includes Elsevier a couple of years ago, I suspect this may have
>  > improved by now) and even this year one publisher (not the big one
> these days we'd have it retyped :-}

Why can the AMS get my files on paper without retyping, and a huge
big-budget operation like Elsevier can't?

>  > Humanities?  Maybe this is not so critical here as few publishers
>  > would consider accepting LaTeX anyway?
>  >
> grr. speaking as a humanities person, I deny the assertion! anyway, at
> the risk of repeating myself, you misunderstand what publishers
> are. the average publisher is NOT a typesetter, and does not give a
> damn how you prepare your MSS, since it'll be between you and some
> other agency. well, thats my observation of the trade, anyway
>
>  > LaTeX document. E.g., should things like \enlargethispage be legal in
>  > such documents? The answer is not clear to me. One could either
>  > explicitly discourage people to use them, or to expect any production
>  > class to ignore any visual mark-up and provide the functionality with
>  > different macros.
> gracious. i'd be shocked at a production system which did not catch
> \enlargethispage... not that I understand why you, as an author, would
> ever use it....

Because I produce production versions for personal use, too.
Personally, I think the \enlargethispage stuff is a big pain, I try
to avoid it, but I guess sometimes it just happens that a thing like
this gets left in a file.

>  > - Mark-up of tables (I think this is an area where LaTeX is really
>  >   deficient, both in functionality and in the necessity of visual
>  >   mark-up even for many trivial tables).
> hurrah! sound point
>
>  > - Guidelines for including graphics (psfrag???)
> aaargh! and you expect me to translate your psfrag stuff to XML???

Never used it, but I think from an author's perspective it may
appear useful.  So this is exactly what we need: Some
classification of stuff that can be used and others that can't
without severe portability problems.  I don't think such problems
are obvious to everyone, and should be documented.

> ...
>  > Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> ..
>  > > I want a reliable batch-oriented page makeup system, no more, no
>  > > less. I want to store my text in XML, and have LaTeX produce beautiful
>  > > pages when I give it a style sheet
>  >
>  > Are you speaking for yourself, or for Elsevier? While I could see that
> not officially, but yes, for Elsevier
>
>  > XML/MathML may make sense for me in certain circumstances, because I
>  > may want to reuse the logical structure, I don't see why this should
>  > matter for a publisher whose job it is to get the thing on paper, and
>  > possibly into an online repository (PDF?).
> publishers who do not want to consider electronic publication of
> material are, IMHO, on the track to failure. publishers exist to sell
> your work, NOT get things on paper!!!

But paper is the only thing you can do better than I can.  I can run
a web-site with no problem and publish my stuff in whatever format I
like.
The only thing I cannot do is printing large quantities of paper
and shipping them to every library in the world.

>  > There does not seem to be a
>  > widely available user interface for XML, so currently, it also does
>  > not seem realistic to expect authors to submit XML. So what's the
> agreed. not quite yet. give it 6 months or a year.

That would be great.  I am looking forward to finding this on my
next Redhat CD.

>  > problem with LaTeX (apart from the ones that we discussed, and seem
>  > very much fixable)? It should be much preferable to, say, Word's .doc
>  > format or rtf???
> no. converting RTF to XML is a problem whose parameters you can
> determine  in advance. ie, the authors markup will be about 50%
> useable, the rest you can junk. a LaTeX file is a converter's
> nightmare, since almost anything can happen. maybe it takes 5 minutes,
> maybe it takes 5 hours. you cannot run a business on those lines, IMO.

Why don't you make the converter free software?  Then you can go and
tell everyone to check first if a file is convertable before submitting
it.  You should get a much better quota than 50% this way.

Or is this one of the cases where "big" companies prefer to use
undocumented and proprietary formats just for their own monetary
advantage?

Also, I don't buy your argument about the impossibility of converting
LaTeX into other formats.  A clean LaTeX file (i.e. no TeX which is
not explicitly part of LaTeX) and a conservative choice of packages
(which is what this discussion is all about) should allow very close
to 100% conversion.

Also, I still don't understand either the current or the envisioned
production process of your organization.  To me it seems that (at least
at some point in the past) either TeX or LaTeX has been the back-end
(I may be wrong here, but some things looked very TeX-like).  So what's
the point of going via XML as an intermediate format?  Why not let
people submit in clean LaTeX for those who prefer to write clean LaTeX,
and typesetting it directly, and let others submit their RTF or XML or
whatever, and feed it to whatever backend?

And, repeating myself here, I believe that a publisher cannot "add
value"
to papers in my field (applied analysis) by storing or distributing
publications in any format which is much more explicitly marked up
(I guess that's what XML is supposed to do) than LaTeX.  This is simply
due to the nature of the material, and no publisher's vision for the
future can change this.  Also, I have enough faith in my collegues
that, should the need arise for strongly marked up electronic
disemination
of results, they will be much less conservative about using it
(on their own web-sites!) than any of the large publishing houses.

So the final question:  Why do small publishing operations (professional
societies and university presses) who are closer to the scientific
community and whose journal subscriptions are usually cheaper, use
LaTeX more readily than the large multinational presses?  Can we
conclude that LaTeX is doing the job pretty well after all?

Marcel

PS: Sorry Sebastian, as you are probably the only one connected to
"big business" listening in here.  I actually appreciate very much
hearing your opinion on the matter.

I am just not sure that even the goals for the LaTeX project from all
the potentially interested sides are on the table to permit a sound
technical discussion.  I think it is in everybody's interest that
whatever future typesetting system is acceptable both to authors
and publishers.  But if publishers are neither very forthcoming in what
they need, nor really listening to the author's needs, then at some
point one just has to say "screw them and let them find somebody
cheap in the third world to retype all the manuscipts".

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