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Re: Preaching DSSSL (Re: using LOUT)

From: Chris Herborth
Subject: Re: Preaching DSSSL (Re: using LOUT)
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 13:11:45 -0400

Previously, Valeriy E. Ushakov (address@hidden) writes:
> PS: Now back to SGML/DSSSL.  There's free DSSSL style engine called
> Jade <URL:http://www.jclark.com/jade/> by James Clark (author of groff
> and nsgmls).  Currently it has RTF and TeX backends.
> RTF backend's real target is actually an M$ Word.
> A LaTeX macro package for use with the output of TeX backend is under
> development by Sebastian Rahtz. A draft is on CTAN in macros/jadetex.

Isn't there an HTML back-end, too?

> What I would very much like to see is Lout backend implemented.  I
> have read DSSSL standard and it jusk *asks* for Lout backend.
> Similarities were striking.  If someone will write the backend it will
> promote Lout.  It will promote Jade as well, as people will get
> PostScript output without installing the TeX monstrosity and going
> through dvips.  It will promote the SGML/DSSSL in general wich is
> very, very good.

I would LOVE to see a Lout back-end for Jade.  We do all of our
documentation here in SGML, and munge it into LaTeX via an OmniMark
script.  This has several problems... there's no port of OmniMark for
QNX (it's better to work in the environment you're documenting, IMHO, at
least in the software industry) and LaTeX's formatting is driving us up
the wall...  Strange side-effects abound, even simple things like
spacing at the top of a page aren't 100% reliable.  Usually it's "good
enough" (we've published a LOT of documents in the past two years), but
it's next to impossible to tweak the format to look more like our
traditional printed documents, and it's next to impossible to debug and
fix the remaining formatting problems.

Moving to DSSSL (an ISO standard) using Jade (free and portable) and
Lout (free and portable) would really make me happy.  I have long-range
plans to move to Lout, but being able to just write up the document
transformations in DSSSL and have it happen automagically would really
be great.

> Writing Lout definitions for the backend output should be an order of
> magnitude easier than with LaTeX, as Lout can naturally support most
> of the flow objects analogous to those of DSSSL.

I'd do the work myself, but I don't know Lout or DSSSL at this point. 

> And it will generate a good karma as well. :-)

It certainly would!

----------================================================----------  _
Chris Herborth, R&D Technical Writer   (address@hidden)              | \  _
QNX Software Systems, Ltd.             Arcane Dragon -==(UDIC)==-    | < /_\
http://www.qnx.com/~chrish/            DNRC Holder of Past Knowledge |_/ \_

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