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RE: Experiences of typesetting a book with lout

From: Victor Porton
Subject: RE: Experiences of typesetting a book with lout
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 2004 17:17:59 +0500 (YEKT)

On 04-Feb-2004 Mark Summerfield wrote:
> example). This book was typeset entirely with lout. (Jeff also wrote a
> book typeset with lout of course.)

My book (yet E-book only): "Apocalypse: Falling Golden Comet (penalty of
greedy)" is also typeset with Lout (http://ex-code.com/~porton/bible/)

> - I found that for some things def and macro were insufficient so I
>   ended up writing a pre-processor to supplement the defs and macros I
>   created.

My book has an XML source. XML -> Lout -> PDF is the correct way. Write in
XML. I have mocroses mainly in XSLT not Lout.

I'm going as I'll will find time to publish my XSLT to transform XML->Lout.
(Well, these are Bible oriented but easily can be extended for other XML
formats...) These will be VERY extensible very modular stylesheet to
convert any XML formatting to ANY formatting!

>   hyphenation in index entries. Lout could do with far more options on
>   forematter and endmatter, and should offer far more formatting control

These need to be rewritten yourselves anyway. Different books have
different front matters. I used @OnTitlePage.

> - I did not have much success with the @Colophon symbol and ended up
>   having to suppy the very last page as a separate file.

I had no problem with 3.28.

> - I often got messages like this:
>   259,79: 0.3c object too high for -0.0c space; will try elsewhere
>   Which meant I had to check that the image really had found a place. I
>   did not find this a problem in practice.

I have (in unknown reason) at the last run:

   18,91: unresolved cross reference @NumberMarker&&9.1483.comet.en.lout.1
  23,110: unresolved cross reference @NumberMarker&&9.1483.comet.en.lout.2
    29,9: unresolved cross reference @NumberMarker&&9.1483.comet.en.lout.3
  67,102: unresolved cross reference @NumberMarker&&9.1483.comet.en.lout.4
   80,57: ignoring LanguageLevel comment in EPS file
   537,7: no @SectionList galley target precedes this

but it seems to cause no real problems.

I can send the Lout file (remember about copyright) for checking if you
(Jeff) like. (Note that the file is autogenerated.)

> - Lout's ability to use any installed postscript font was a real help.
>   We created a custom Courier font that is horizontally scaled so that
>   we could get more characters per line for code snippets, and making
>   this font available to lout was easy. (We wrote a small Python script
>   for embedding fonts to ensure the publisher didn't have any problems.)

AFAIK, GhostScript also can embed fonts. Anyway I use ghostscript to
produce PDF from PostScript.

> If you want to write a book, then lout is a good tool to use. Our book

I write in XML, debug converting it to HTML by my XSLT. And only after HTML
is finished, I need to produce Lout. Much more convenient to deal with HTML.

> I admire the work that Jeff's put into lout and I'm very glad that I use
> it.

Yes, Lout is great.

Victor Porton (address@hidden)

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