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From Alexander Schatten <>
Subject Re: TeX to PDF serializator
Date Wed, 11 Jun 2003 18:27:21 GMT
Peter Flynn wrote:

>This has come up several times before. I agree completely: many people
>want to use LaTeX to create PDF because it does a vastly
>better job than any of the FOP systems.
nevertheless it is imho the completly wrong attempt. because FOP is not 
ready for primetime, you suggest to put energy to integrate a legacy 
system, that does not fit into the XML publishing process?? this sounds 
weird to me. far better would be the idea to invest more energy in 
enhancing FOP.

>This is really a bad idea, I'm afraid, and the very last thing we 
>actually want or need.
It is always great to be informed by others what *I* need.

thank you!


>TeX systems are for formatting: you use them to typeset something
>which was created/edited/stored/manipulated in (for example) XML.
>Because of the way history happened, TeX preceded XML, so we have
>a lot of legacy TeX. Sure it would be nice to have a tex2xml which
>would do the job (actually there are a few attempts) but if you stop
>for a moment to think of the ghastly mess which most authors make
>of TeX, you'll realise why there is no such animal right now. Yes,
>you could write a conversion from well-formed LaTeX to XML (I actually
>did one a long time ago, for SGML) but the instant an author starts
>to write her own macros or mess manually with the formatting, the model
>breaks and translation becomes virtually impossible. To effect it fully
>you'd need to rewrite TeX the program to output XML instead of DVI or
>PDF, and you'd *still* be in trouble because most of what TeX formats
>carries nothing with it which can be used to indicate markup, unless
>you want to go back to the days of <b>, <i>, and <u>.
I really cannot see the point. the only thing I would need is a 
generator that 1:1 tries to move LaTeX into XML, if this is a user 
written command or not.


should become to something like

<comm arg1="Citation" arg2="1234" arg3="456">

and \index{Test} to <index>Test</index>

you can then write your own stylesheets to process this to whatever 
needed. So really no need to rewrite the tex program. far away from this!

and such a generator would be fully sufficient to process available tex 
documents for some reasons.

>>The next one will ask, why Cocoon cannot create WML from powerpoint or 
>>SVG from Postscript.
>Because PowerPoint is not (yet) an XML format, nor is PostScript.
>What we need to to be able to go from XML to PDF via LaTeX.
the same as LaTeX is no XML format? you seem to mix up a few things here.


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