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RE: xsl-fo first anniversary

From: Ian Tindale <ian_tindale@yahoo.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 15:04:27 +0100
To: <www-xsl-fo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000601c276af$4872c270$fc00a8c0@solstice>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-xsl-fo-request@w3.org [mailto:www-xsl-fo-request@w3.org] On 
> Behalf Of √Čric Bischoff
> Sent: 18 October 2002 12:25
> To: David Carlisle
> Cc: > Subject: Re: xsl-fo first anniversary
> Also, I have noticed that the learning curve is easier with XSL-FO 
> than with LaTex for complete beginners (if you keep them away from the 
> reference documents and point them to a good crash-course, of course).

I've continually looked into TeX periodically over the past 20 years or so, mostly with decade-wide gaps inbetween each peeking. The latest time was probably the last, however, as it dawned on me that these TeX people are determined to 'tag' up their editorial in a manner pertaining to its eventual presentation, barely able to separate presentation from problem-space structure, and as said, mixing programming and styling in a most introverted manner. 
More frightening than the desire to pre-empt the layout designer's job even before the editorial has been finished writing, is the tendency for TeX documents to be the product of one person's pursuits. That is, these people largely are not in the professional publishing reality where an editor will commission authors, photographers and illustrators, when the copy and pix come in the editor will work on it, the subeditor will make it fit and still make sense, and the designer will lay it all out and make it look like it should. 
TeX tends to pre-empt all these stages, so is ideally suited to a 'one man band' approach, where one person is responsible for the document from start to finished sheets of paper. Can't see where it would fit into 'proper' magazine publishing workflow, though, without losing a lot of what the author might have though useful, and conversely, having to 'tag up' a lot of stuff that is now rendered meaningless. In my opinion, a very important step in publishing is the act of 'tagging up' all the copy, right up front. But with what vocabulary? TeX isn't it, and most authors (at least most real ones - not talking about academics here) wouldn't have the inclination to do TeX justice - it seems more a way of life than a markup stage. (I hear the same sort of thing about LISP now and then - probably the same mindset at work, come to think of it).
Ian Tindale
Received on Friday, 18 October 2002 10:04:39 UTC

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