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Re: LOUT and XML

From: Ian Carr-de Avelon
Subject: Re: LOUT and XML
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 11:02:54 +0200

Looks like it is about time I drop the subject here and start putting some
hacking time where my mouth is. Anyway a last answer to your quearies.

"Valeriy E. Ushakov" <address@hidden> wrote:
On Tue, Sep 18, 2001, Ian Carr-de Avelon wrote:
>[two emails are collated here]
>> /ch-image{ch-data
>> dup type /stringtype ne{ctr get /ctr ctr 1 add N}if}B
>> your first problem is that you have no idea which characters and words
>> have a meaning in the language and which must be defined elsewhere.
>> XML as a universal format for human readable machine data really only
>> rests on the angle brackets, but in giving you one highlighting 
>> system in your editor it really helps if you are going to work with
>> >=5 industry standards for input and >=3 formats for output.
>With a number of XML DTDs around (or whatever they are called in XML),
>I really fail to see how this is different for XML.  E.g. in assembler
>(human readable machine data) you can clearly distinguish opcodes,
>registers and literals too and you can get them highlighted in the
>editor easily - does it really help *that* much?
How much is *that*? Assembler normally looks like
the only exception I ever saw was assembler in Forth. I never
saw ADD{EF} or <ADD immediate="EF"> so maybe it does make *that* much
difference even when the processors are different.

>> in the context of work which lots of people have hanging over them,
>> acceptance of an alternative XML syntax, for just the people who
>> want it, would get us a lot of friends very quickly and there could
>> be real benefits from them.
>Can you please elaborate on that?  What are those benefits?  Lout is
>not a commercial product looking for a wider market to boost revenues.
>And it doesn't look like we gonna get a lot of people (hell, any
>people) contributing code.  
I would think the first benefit may be more interest from printers,
and offers to accept Lout files as input. I would hope in the long term
to see a library of Lout macros as extensive as, but better documented
than, TeX.

>After all if Lout is oh so great for them,
>why they are not doing anything with it *now*?
I think because they are looking at all the options available for a best
bet and before they look very deaply at any of the software available,
the attitude to "the XML crowd" frightens them off.

>If some XML folks need a printing solution that involves Lout, then
>*they* should work on it.  
This is already an advance, from my point of view. see next

>So far the only thing I heard from XML
>folks is "let's change Lout to use XML syntax".
What I have heard is:
"Will there be a way for Lout to work with XML." 
"Noooooo! It won't help you at all anyway."
"I think it might help me."
"You are wrong, that you think that shows that you know nothing."
If we could move from that to:
"Will there be a way for Lout to work with XML."
"There will if you make one."
I would accept the position as reasonable, and
"If you make one that works well, we'll include it in the distribution."
could get us as far as helpfull. 

>Look at this for a different attitude (note the date):
>| Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 10:31:54 +0200
>| From: address@hidden (Dr. Thomas F. Gordon)
>| Subject: Re: Lout and SGML
>| I have written a SGML to Lout translator in Scheme, for the ISO 12083
>| "standard" document types (books and articles).  I've used it for
>| a book I've written
Is this available by FTP? Maybe that is the attitude which needs to change.

OK, lets try not to crash any planes over this I'll come back when I have

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