[l2h] Input source

Algis Kabaila akabaila at pcug.org.au
Fri Dec 1 12:29:17 CET 2006

Hello Ross,
On Thursday 23 November 2006 08:20, Ross Moore wrote:
> Hello Algis,

First and foremost - thank you for your detailed, prompt and informative 
reply.  I will heed most of your advice.

> On 22/11/2006, at 9:35 PM, Algis Kabaila wrote:

> > \documentclass[a4paper,12pt]{article}
> > \usepackage{amsmath}
> It's good to see that you are using the  amsmath  package now.
> IMHO, for any serious mathematics, this is an absolute *must*.
> However, with LaTeX2HTML, there is a need to support many different
> levels of mathematical input.
> Please get hold of a copy of The LaTeX Web Companion.
> In Chapter 4, the issues regarding presentation of mathematics,
> and how they are dealt with by LaTeX2HTML, are discussed in some
> detail.

The revised (?) version has not reached our bookshops yet.  I have  
looked up Bookware Shop 5a "La Terrazza" 99 Walker Street North Sydney, NSW
 2060 on the net at http://www.bookware.com.au/.  They do suggest to put an 
order as the book is coming RSN.  I notice that you, as the Architect of 
latex2html, are one of the authors.  I also notice that latex2html is 
discussed in Chapter 3, not 4, so I would think I should read Chapter 3 first
of all, no?
> There is no point in any further discussion on the topic, without
> this material being an agreed basis.
> I have added a few further comments below.

I agree with you unreservedly.

Of course there is an enormous amount of information on the net.   So far I 
only read some software manuals and the famous "lshort.html" paper, which I 
find excellent.  Sadly, I am already spending disproportional amount of energy
on formatting, rather than on the substance.  That can not be good.
> > \noindent I was under a mis-understanding and had assumed that the
> > objective
> > of latex2html was to produce output of as close as possible
> > appearance to
> > LaTeX. I assume that the aims of latex2html are more ambitious, as
> > mentioned
> > already.
> It is not the intention of LaTeX2HTML to reproduce what you get in a PDF
> document.  That would be quite silly -- just use pdfTeX instead, if this
> is what you want.

I did suspect that the design of architecture did not include an attempt
to make latex2html output to be as close as possible to plain latex
output. You have confirmed that - thank you.  

I have heard  several authors, regretting  the difference of output 
to pdf and html.  

You, as the architect of the package, of course need not  take into 
account every wish that the different users may have.  It is your decision 
and yours alone.  No argument - and good to know what it is.

I beg to differ with your last sentence above: "That would be quite silly -- 
just use pdfTeX instead."  

Many people  nowdays only buy paper books that they have already seen  on the 
net.  I, too, do that.  I like paper books that I can read waiting in a 
doctor's or dentist's surgery.  Or I can read it in bed in the 
evening and mark some notes within and so on.  A paper book is pleasing 
to handle.    Call this old fashioned, but a lot of younger and young people 
express the same sentiments.  

So I want to get the  book I am writing on the net first and I 
expect to use  latex2html for that purpose.  

When I get some feedback from people using the "work in progress" version,  
I will use that for  the final version.  

Eventually,  I hope to have it published in the traditional form, which 
closely approximates the pdf format.  What I see on the screen when looking at 
the first compilation, also closely approximates pdf. 

Therefore for my manner of work it is highly desirable for the pdf format
to closely approximate the html format of the same text.

You as the architect of latex2html, which IMHO is a great tool, need not agree 
with my objectives.  That  is your privilege.  It is my privilege to try to 
chose the format of the text I am writing to suit my objectives.

There is a difference, but no contradiction between the  two aims.

> is what you want.

Yes, that is what I want.  Precisely.

> The purpose of HTML is to present information so that it is easily
> accessible;
> it is not a high-quality page-layout format.

Of course. 

> (However, if you want your displayed equations to appear that way,
> you can
> always force LaTeX2HTML to generate an image, and include that instead
> of a <TABLE> with aligned cells.)

Clearly, it would be possible to "doctor" the html to its full capabilites, 
but that would require more effort than it is worth.

> Thus LaTeX2HTML is about presenting the mathematical meaning in as
> simple,
> convenient and effective way possible, subject to the (very rough)
> layout
> capabilities provided by the HTML format.
And it does that admirably well - this is why it has survived so long!

> Hope this helps,

It sure has, thank you! 

Season's best wishes to you all from the parched and hot Canberra,


> 	Ross Moore
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Ross Moore                                         ross at maths.mq.edu.au
> Mathematics Department                             office: E7A-419
> Macquarie University                               tel: +61 +2 9850 8955
> Sydney, Australia  2109                            fax: +61 +2 9850 8114
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Algis Kabaila (Dr)

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