Re: (dsssl) RE: The Future of DSSSL

Subject: Re: (dsssl) RE: The Future of DSSSL
From: Sebastian Rahtz <sebastian.rahtz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2002 12:01:30 +0000
On Fri, Dec 21, 2001 at 07:29:54PM +0100, Javier Farreres de la Morena wrote:
> I already have a student who has accepted developing page-sequence related
> things. In my oppinion, the best option is to extend the tex backend. I
> have told him to read the TEI SGML introduction, and to read the ISO DSSSL
> introduction to have a wider knowledge. The more help he can have the faster
> he will go.
> As I see it, he will have to implement a transformation from a grove to
> a flow object tree following the style rules. With this flow object tree
> he should implement a way to output the tree, and also a way to generate
> tex code for the tree. What I don't know is if jadetex should be also touched
> or not. 

Commenting on this part of the discussion only, I'd be be unhappy
if jadetex was allowed to carry on as it is. Any kind of reimplementation
should include a complete rewrite of the TeX backend, in my opinion. The
TeX output from jade was originally done by David Megginson (and then me)
very rapidly, to demonstrate how it might work, and with the perhaps naive 
assumption that writing the accompanying TeX macros would be rather easy. 
As it turned out, this was a project of rapidly-diminishing returns - we got  
something working quickly, which looked convincing, and it seemed a matter
of dotting the i's to get it finished. Unfortunately, the TeX backend to Jade
remains bogged down in apparently insuperable problems.

In my view, it would be better to move nearly all the intelligence from
jadetex back into Jade, where it belongs, and have jade emit very low-level
TeX which can execute rapidly, without the hoo-hah and baggage of LaTeX on top.
For instance, getting font names from a font specification is all done in
jadetex, which is 'scruciately horrible. The only reason why so much work
is done in jadetex is because I am almost illiterate in C++ (and James' code
seems to be as complex as they come...), and was only able to work at the TeX

just a thought....

Sebastian Rahtz      OUCS Information Manager
13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431

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