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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...

 > 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 :-}

 >
 > 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....

 > - 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???

...
 > 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!!!

 > 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.

 > 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.

sebastian