Re: belle page

Subject: Re: belle page
From: Matthias Clasen <clasen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 16:42:09 +0200
> I have never been convinced that implementing page-sequence in TeX is as difficult as the (informed) opinion on this list would have it.  This may be because I don't _understand_ what is implied by page-sequence, or because I was just looking at page-sequence and not at column-set.
> (FWIW, while I won't claim to be a guru of either TeX or DSSSL, I've been working with TeX a *lot* longer than with DSSSL; much of my unwillingness to be too assertive on this topic is not being sure I understand the implications of the DSSSL side).
> But this discussion causes me to wonder how much of the confusion is generated by the design decision to base JadeTeX on LaTeX rather than more primitive TeX definition.  While using a LaTeX base certainly simplifies a lot of functionality within the page, it renders TeX's basic page layout mechanisms (which are not exactly transparent to begin with) even more opaque.
> I guess what I'm saying is that I think the (PDF)TeX engine is capable of handling everything I understand of the page-sequence and column-set needs.  I'm not trying to imply that the TeX  programming challenge is simple, or even necessarily doable within the time/knowledge constraints we all have.  But I think extending JadeTeX or reimplementing the TeX backend are potential solutions.
One thing needed for page-sequence support is the ability to format a
paragraph so that the parts of it falling in different page-regions have
different line-lengths. TeX can't do that. This is a restriction of TeX,
the program, not of LaTeX, so switching to a different format won't help.

This restriction is also the reason why you can't really change textwidth
on a page-by-page basis in LaTeX.  


Matthias Clasen, 
Tel. 0761/203-5606
Email: clasen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mathematisches Institut, Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg

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