[rescue] [OT] Alternative typesetting/markup software - Re: In defence of TeX/LaTeX

Toby Thain toby at telegraphics.com.au
Tue Dec 8 12:38:46 CST 2015

On 2015-12-08 1:22 PM, John Floren wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 11:17 AM, Toby Thain <toby at telegraphics.com.au> wrote:
>> On 2015-12-08 12:09 PM, microcode at zoho.com wrote:
>>> ...
>>> Agreed. The last thing I want is another editor dependency. The whole
>>> thing
>>> is about being able to keep stuff in ASCII text and be able to get at it
>>> from anything that reads ASCII and not depend on GUI stuff.
>>> And at this point I am probably too old to start learning LaTeX and would
>>> not use it enough to justify the hair-pulling.
>> Eh, it's not that bad, actually - certainly the most practical typographic
>> markup I've seen in 30 years. It also has dozens of good tutorial and
>> reference books.
>> Of course it all depends what you're doing. ...
> I've often found that getting a LaTeX document to compile on two
> different systems can be an exercise in frustration. It makes

Yes, it is possible to get tangled up here, especially with nonstandard 
fonts, and so on. And the font *installation* process is ridiculously 
baroque, if you need to do that.

For what it's worth, here are some other projects I have seen around:
- http://patoline.org/
- http://www.sile-typesetter.org/what-is/index.html
- http://speedata.github.io/publisher/
- http://savannah.nongnu.org/projects/lout as mentioned elsewhere in the 
- http://www.methods.co.nz/asciidoc/
- http://heirloom.sourceforge.net/doctools.html (troff front-end, 
TeX-like back-end?)

> nice-looking documents, though, when it's not spitting out inscrutable
> errors because something in your stack of macros-on-macros has
> conflicted.
> troff is nice and simple, but your source file can very quickly end up
> almost unreadable, especially if you're writing a man page.

Yes. And it's just not as powerful or smart typographically.

Does anyone write TeXinfo docs any more? :)


> john
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