Re: jade/jadetex with tables (was: Re: jade/jadetex & 2 questions)

Subject: Re: jade/jadetex with tables (was: Re: jade/jadetex & 2 questions)
From: Sebastian Rahtz <sebastian.rahtz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 10:35:26 +0000 (GMT)
Adam Di Carlo writes:
 >   * some major DSSSL advanced features are not implemented, the
 >     biggest one brought up to this list being the
 >     complex-page-sequence stuff...
one man's "advanced" is another man's "basic". multiple column output
with floats and footnotes is (to my mind) basic functionality, and one 
reason why Jade/DSSSL cannot succeed as it stands. The DSSSL'ers claim 
to fame at present is that she can generate high quality print output, 
unlike the XSL'ers, but this only holds for a limited subset of
documents (eg technical documentation which is probably as good in
HTML anyway...)

 >   * TeX backend may need a re-write (see below)
 > Sebastian, what exactly is your critique of it?  AFAICT, the TeX
 > backend simply represents FOTs as TeX in the most straight-forward
 > possible manner.  Even though this tends to stretch the memory limits
 > of many TeX implementations, the fundamental idea seems sound to me...

it's a nice idea, and was quite simple for David to implement, but it is
predicated on the idea of passing all the work on to
TeX. Theoretically, you can program anything in TeX, but in practice
 - its very hard
 - its slow
 - no-one can understand it when its done
 - there is a dearth of expertise
witness the TeX output of Jade. It is unreadable, the macros that
process it are unreadable and incomprehensible to man and beast alike, 
its slow, and it has not solved many problems. If more work was done in 
the backend:

 - lots of people understand C++ and could work on it
 - the output could be made readable
 - it would be faster
 - we could solve some problems

if you want an example, look at something as `easy' as font
selection. if the the font family, style, size, etc were tracked in
the backend, then just the occasional new font call to TeX would be
needed. as it is, JadeTeX brings in the whole LaTeX NFSS subsystem to
mangle it all, slowly....

Then think about space-before and space-after. Or rather, don't.

If I was starting it now, I'd base a TeX  backend on what James did
with the RTF backend, and emit lower-level TeX.


 DSSSList info and archive:

Current Thread