RE: The DSSSList Digest V3 #50

Subject: RE: The DSSSList Digest V3 #50
From: Norman Gray <norman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 11:06:26 +0100 (GMT)

On Tue, 25 May 1999, Wroth, Mark wrote:

> Secondly, the proposal to implement a not-so-simple-page-sequence makes a
> [...]
> implementation).  Perhaps an approach might be to have a TeX backend which
> emits macros which then require individual definition?  I'd find that
> approach useful (but then, I know more about TeX than I do about DSSSL :-).

I think this approach has a lot going for it.  I produced a simple
backend which lets a stylesheet generate arbitrary LaTeX, so that all
the formatting magic can be offloaded into a LaTeX class, where I at
least have more experience.

This worked for me because my targets were HTML and _portable_ LaTeX, so
I didn't give a damn about RTF and MIF, but I'm aware that this approach
completely ignores DSSSL's supposedly central virtue, of generating
high-quality print output from a format-independent stylesheet.

The backend is simple because it's more-or-less a copy of the SGML
transformation backend.  I realise that, apart from one afternoon's
experimentation, I've only ever used Jade for transformation, to
another DTD or to high-level LaTeX markup.

The point I'd make is that Jade is a tremendously powerful tool even
if you never once crack open Clause 12, and if we're talking about
Jade development priorities, I'd put in a vote for leaving ever-fancier
formatting to post-processors, and instead adding more modules to Jade's
grove plan.

Perhaps Jade and DSSSL's Big Thing could become their direct and easy
access to the document's and subdocuments' groves.  [Also, XSL looks
like hell-on-earth - I _never_ want to write any of it...]

All the best,


Norman Gray              
Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK     norman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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