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From Peter Flynn <>
Subject Re: TeX to PDF serializator
Date Tue, 10 Jun 2003 23:52:29 GMT
On Tue, 2003-06-10 at 23:57, Andre Thenot wrote:
> On Tuesday, June 10, 2003, at 06:37 PM, Peter Flynn wrote:
> > In any case, it shouldn't be specific to LaTeX. All we need is an
> > ability of Cocoon to spawn an external process and serve the result
> > back to the user with a defined media type.
> There's a _big_ problem with this: how do I apply a transformer 
> on an external process? I cant!

You don't, and you don't need to. All you need to do is transform
the XML using an XSLT text-mode stylesheet and feed the *output*
to LaTeX, then pass the resulting PDF back to the user.

This is the same concept as transforming XML to FO and
passing the result through a FO processor and passing the
resulting PDF back to the user.

> For your use (reading and serving), you could write a servlet 
> (or even use a plain web server, for that matter).

I'd rather use Cocoon to manage the process.

> Cocoon is an *XML* publishing framework. Except for the initial 
> input and final output, everything MUST be XML.

I think this is more of a religious argument than a practical one.

The problem is that the typographic quality of FO processors is
extremely poor compared with LaTeX, and there seems little point in
constantly reinventing the wheel by writing vastly complex XSL 
to output PDF when the job can be done more simply and accurately
and efficiently by outputting LaTeX from XSLT.

I'm astonished that the authors of FO processors have not learned
from 25 years of automated typesetting using LaTeX. 

> I remember reading about TeXML a little while ago; I don't know 
> how broad it is or even if it's still alive.

When it's better developed that would answer the case, as it would
accept XML as input and emit PDF as output, same as FOP.


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