RE: support for 'macro' formatting languages

Subject: RE: support for 'macro' formatting languages
From: Sebastian Rahtz <sebastian.rahtz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 12:05:15 +0000 (GMT)
Pieter Rijken writes:

 > articles  one is stuck with a particular publisher. Not only because
 > there are only 1 or 2 journals to publish the article in, but also
 > because in that field of science it is 'common' to have the article
 > published by that publisher.

daily I thank god I am no longer an academic....

I hope you lobby these journals?

 > Well, because (Open)Jade already supports SGML -> SGML transformations
 > via a proprietary solution it is rather easy to get HTML output. The
 > backend to generate markup tags is already present.

yes, you need a trivial extension to make it a little easier to write
LaTeX. Norman Gray did some work on this. you don't *need* it, tho.

 > Suppose I like the formatting of a 'chapter' in LaTeX, and I do not
 > want to figure out what spaces, indent, fonts, etc. LaTeX uses to
 > generate the desired layout. How do I generate the output of
 > "\chapter{title}"?

(literal "\\\chapter{") 

etc, at worst

 > I totally agree with you that DSSSL isn't designed to do high level
 > transformations. But on the other hand, it would be nice to be
 > able to use DSSSL for this purpose.

people already do, I am sure. or you can use an SGML/XML language for
the purpose (Omnimark, Balise, Perl, XSLT etc). unless you really
expect to share DSSSL code with a `real' DSSSL stylesheet, maybe don't 
torture yourself? well, your choice. I am using XSLT myself, but thats 
because I find it easier to write.

 > 1) The first is
 > to generate UNIX manual pages. I could add a backend to generate
 > roff with the macros used by 'man'. But it would be nicer to have
 > generic roff support as well. Is there a way to have the same
 > backend support low level roff as well as one of the macro
 > packages?

If I was you, I'd generate HTML and then write an HTML to man page
transformer, if it doesn't exist already.

 > with it. But, in order to use the macros for sections, and chapters i
 > have a switch in the DSSSL style sheet. This is ugly, and not easy
 > to maintain if the style sheet changes.

life is hard. the same is true for the HTML wallahs, after all. The
only `hope' may be direct rendering of XML in the browsers next year...

the stuff about architectural forms I find interesting, but I am not
sure if it is not a sledgehammer to crack a nut. I think man pages are 
a red herring because, as I say, you can derive them from HTML. 

So when else, realistically, do you need this facility to delay
stylesheet execution to the formatter? for LaTeX? is that it? If so,
generate HTML, and have TeX read *that* directly. So when it finds
<h1>Introduction</h1>, it treats it like \section{Introduction}. Of
course, that would need some working on. But its certainly doable (you 
might need to make creative use of comments, and so on). 

This doesn't help you for DECDocument, but you could write an HTML to
DD converter, surely?


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