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Re: Preaching DSSSL (Re: using LOUT)

From: Sean Russell
Subject: Re: Preaching DSSSL (Re: using LOUT)
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 14:45:50 -0700 (PDT)

On 27 Aug, Valeriy E. Ushakov wrote:
> Yes, I have listed only "formatter" backends.  BTW, HTML backend
> (well, CSS in fact) looks a bit kludgy now when Jade provides SGML
> backend as a substitute for STTL it doesn't implement.

I don't completely understand what you are saying here, but I don't
think that CSS support is neccessarily a /bad/ thing.  There are
several browsers available that support CSS, but none that support
DSSSL (or XS).  I would hope that XS support will push out CSS, when
support for XS becomes more widely available, but for the time being
CSS will have to do.

>> I'd do the work myself, but I don't know Lout or DSSSL at this point. 
> Both are simple indeed.  Lout programming language may look strange at

I agree that Lout is easy to learn, but this is the first time I've
every heard anyone accuse DSSSL of being simple!  The DSSSL
specification in its entirety is 300 pages long; I've read it thrice,
and I'm still not comfortable with it, although I'm not above admitting
that that could be my own lack of common ability.

> DSSSL is very simple as well.  It really was a must for it, otherwise
> we'd sunk in the monstrous and unwieldy API (look at Java for
> miserable counterexapmple).  So DSSSL is really straight and I'd

:-) Scheme-vs-C?  Or just a dig at Java?  I, personally, would have
preferred some other programming paradigm than the Lisp derivative that
DSSSL uses, especially since this makes it all the more difficult for
anyone writing backends.  If Lisp interpreters have the smallest
footprint, as I suspect, then I'll concede the point.

> I'd hack into this, but I'm *very* short in time, not enough to dig
> into Jade (written in C++) internals.  There are ~3000 lines of TeX
> backend, so Lout should be of the same complexity.  Perhaps some sort
> of collaborative effort can be organized.

I would think that for minimal support, a Lout backed would be smaller
than a TeX backend.  I generally remember Lout documents being smaller
for more complex layouts than TeX, although LaTeX with templates were
fairly simple.

I'm a Java programmer; haven't touched C++ since Java came out.  I'm 
an SGML user; haven't written a document in Lout since I discovered
SGML.  But I'll take a look at writing a rudimentary Lout backend for
Jade; perhaps someone on this list would like to share the job with me. 
It might be possible, if the backend API design allows it, to have
different people working on different parts of the producer.

 |..      --------------------- Sean Russell ----------------------
<|>       address@hidden <-> http://jersey.uoregon.edu/ser
/|\       ------- [           Software Engineer          ] --------
/|                [ PGP info available from my web site  ]

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