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Re: LOUT and XML

From: Ian Carr-de Avelon
Subject: Re: LOUT and XML
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 10:33:09 +0200

Michael Piotrowski <address@hidden> wrote:
>You wouldn't gain anything if Lout used XML syntax.  A Lout document
>is a program--to translate it to something else, you have to execute
>it.  Using angle brackets doesn't magically turn it into descriptive
To say you would not gain anything is a slight exaguration. If all the
files you deal with in the process have the same basic syntax, then 
it is a lot easier to read and move between stages in the data/document
processing chain. How many of us would start looking at the postscript
or pdf output if things start going wrong? it is only a different
language, so according to your argumant we should not think twice.

      I can understand that Jeff is not about to change,
but some simple transliterator which changes <X>this</X> 
into @X {this} for all values of X, or back again, may enable a big change 
in the userbase.

Obviously <X> and/or @X still needs to be defined. Which is your point. But;
What you perhapse miss is how many people are looking towards spending the
whole of their working week in XML angle bracket land and the levels of 
abstraction they are involved in. In traditional Lout and TeX work you
define that part of the text is a heading in one place and define what 
a heading is in another place. With docbook you are doing more or less
the same, but most interest in XML is based on industry standards for
product and transaction encoding in XML. So a typical IT department is
looking at needing 
IndustryXML->Web page
IndustryXML->Wap page

Where IndustryXML is really at least 5 XML standards for what they:
buy, store, manufacture, sell, payments etc. and really they only have
angle brackets in common. This IndustryXML does not deal with headings
and paragraphs, but with widgit numbers and catalogue codes. To realisticly 
get consistency acrose web pages, they will go
IndustryXML-XSLT->HouseXML-XSLT->HTML(XML consistant)
angle brackets-angle brackets->angle brackets-angle brackets->angle brackets

The number of people asking on this list shows that geting the paper
version  with something like
angle brackets-angle brackets->angle brackets-curly brackets->curly 
is already a top runner against TeX or anything else you may think of:

Just at the moment a chain which goes (or appears to go):
angle brackets-angle brackets->angle brackets-angle brackets->angle 
brackets-angle brackets->angle brackets->GOAL/game over/you shall go
to the ball 
is a "unique selling proposition."


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