Re: PDF vs Markup Languages

From: Mark Doyle <doyle_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 11:44:18 -0400


On Fri, 16 Oct 1998, Tony Barry wrote:

> At 11:24 AM 1998/10/14, Selmer Bringsjord wrote:
> >I would like to see Tex become the
> >standard for this paperless, on-line future. Nothing else makes sense to
> >me.
> My money's on XML <> with developments from it like
> MathML <> for maths and CML
> <> for chemistry.

Certainly XML is an excellent candidate for long-term archiving of the
information and for displaying it using the Web. Also, I think TeX is
well-positioned to be the output of taking XML and formatting it, especially
for math. The question is what will authors want to use to compose their
manuscripts. TeX is widely used (and completely dominant in some fields),
but in others, it is "modern" products like Microsoft Word which aren't
electronic publishing friendly at all that dominate. However, Microsoft does
seem to be getting behind the XML bandwagon and one can hope that they will
adapt Word to output XML. Authors would still need to be disciplined about
applying the right styles to elements of the document so that it is the
content and not the appearance is what gets tagged. But I wouldn't hold my
breath waiting for this.

Structured TeX (using macro pacakges that promote good markup for content)
is an ideal authoring tool now though and I imagine that macro packages will
keep apace with developments in the XML world so that clean conversion back
and forth between them will be possible.

Received on Tue Aug 25 1998 - 19:17:43 BST

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