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Re: [Groff] Eric Raymond on groff and TeX

From: Peter Schaffter
Subject: Re: [Groff] Eric Raymond on groff and TeX
Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 00:50:03 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Tue, May 08, 2012, Larry Kollar wrote:

> But I think there's room for a third kind of markup. I
> call it *humanist* markup. Humanist markup has structure —
> headings, lists, paragraphs, are easy to denote and
> separated from presentation. The markup is simple to
> transform to other languages. But in the end, the human can
> step in and override things when necessary, because in
> the end the humans know what they want. Macro packages
> can provide that kind of flexibility, where BDSM markup
> languages won't.

I'm in Larry's camp on this.  I wouldn't want to typeset a book
of contemporary poetry using structural markup, but neither would
I want to prepare a technical report with only presentational
markup (perish the thought).  Perhaps my bias is showing, but
it seems to me that all the major groff macrosets provide an
acceptable--sometimes exemplary--middle ground.  Humanist is
entirely the right word for it.

Larry's correct, too, about transforming groff markup to other
languages.  As Steve can attest, I think, it's generally simpler to
convert groff markup into acceptable XML than to produce good pdfs
from XML filtered through groff.

Looking forward to more on that, Steve.

Peter Schaffter

Author of The Binbrook Caucus

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