[texhax] using larger units to determine breaks?
will.adams at frycomm.com
Wed May 6 13:34:59 CEST 2009
On May 5, 2009, at 6:59 PM, D. R. Evans wrote:
> I know that the original TeX basically works in paragraphs and
> outputs in
> But the more (fiction) works that I typeset, the more it seems to me
> that a
> considerable improvement -- or at least less manual intervention --
> likely be effected if the algorithms optimized page breaks over an
> section or chapter.
> Are there any versions of *TeX that have or will at some point have
> capability to optimize breaks over larger units than does the
> original TeX?
> PS Maybe I'm wrong and in practice this doesn't help, but it sure
> like it should. A lot of the tweaking I end up doing seems like it
> would go
> away if some attempt had been made to optimize over larger units.
Dr. Jonathan Fine has done some work along those lines, and of course
LaTeX does have a very sophisticated algorithm for determining figure
placement (not familiar w/ ConTeXt), but tweaking the page breaks
pretty much falls into the last n% of effort which requires human
The problem is solutions tend to be intricate and inter-connected and
I've occasionally found myself going back to the beginning of a
chapter to make the last page work out properly.
Lessee, one has a 100,000 word novel w/ 20 chapters, so average 5,000
words per chapter, each paragraph has on average of five sentences of
five words each, so 200 paragraphs in a chapter, figure 50 characters
(a bit long, but I'm trying to make the math easy) per line, and 10
characters per word (ditto) so 1,000 lines, figure 25 lines per page,
so 40 pages, so one has to work out how 200 paragraphs of more-or-less
1,000 lines inter-act w/ 40 page breaks --- I'll leave it to someone
who does combinatorial mathematics to work out how many possibilities
there are if one-fourth the paragraphs can gain a line, one-fourth can
lose a line, one-fourth gain _or_ lose a line and the balance are
inflexible and unyielding and won't change their line lengths w/
reasonable type settings.
It's probably w/in reach of modern equipment, but it won't be a fast
senior graphic designer
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.
More information about the texhax