[pdftex] TeX as a composition server?

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Sun Oct 24 16:08:52 CEST 2010

On Sunday 24 October 2010 04:46:32 Paul Isambert wrote:
>   Le 24/10/2010 01:31, ivo welch a écrit :
> > won't be me.  I am a casual user, though I do donate to various
> > causes.
> >
> > yes, it would be great if someone wrote a replacement for TeX and
> > LaTeX, taking the typesetting language and yanking the macro
> > language. unfortunately, nothing whatsoever seems to be on the
> > horizon.  heck, I would pay good money for an alternative.  no
> > such thing exists.
> Try InDesign. It's TeX without the language. Plus it's WYSIWYG. And
> you'll pay good money, don't you worry.
> Or you might give a look at ANT.
> > TUG has no real power, but it has moral suasion, and it does
> > produce the de-facto standard through its TeXLive distributions.
> Except Windows user mostly go for MikTeX.
> >    if it shows
> > no leadership, no one else will, either.
> So what? It's free software after all...
> >    (yes, luatex may not be
> > ready, but when it is, making it THE standard would be a step in
> > the right direction.)
> I think LuaTeX could become the standard engine but I won't force
> people. They're free to use whatever engine they prefer. You know
> why? Because if some years ago, somebody had said the same about
> formats, if TUG had enforced LaTeX as the ``standard'', well, the
> TeX world would be much less fun for me today. LaTeX is the /de
> facto/ standard, and I find that sufficiently annoying, so I don't
> want it to become an official standard either. The same with
> engines: I might be a plain TeX user that doesn't want to input
> thousands of lines of exotic code to use ttf and otf fonts (the
> LuaTeX way), or another plain TeX user that doesn't want fonts to
> be unanalyzable entities (the XeTeX way). There are two ways to go,
> why reduce them to a single path?
> Best,
> Paul/
> /

There are no perfect solutions. Folks have problems with InDesign too. 
But I if I wanted to set up an assembly line for processing multiple 
documents then TeX in one or another flavor suits the task better than 
any WYSIWYG approach.  In fact I have two mini-assembly lines of my 
own, one for taking the output of a TeX run and producing a booklet 
out of it and another for running e.g. pdftex or pdfalatex, running 
makeindex, and then running TeX again to incorporate the updated 

In the first instance I have built up a library of  hymns in ps form, 
scanned or in a few cases taken from the output of the music 
typesetting program Mup.  To set up a new weekend hymnal I just have 
to edit last week's TeX file to call different hymns.  Then I run the 
script and produce a one time use hymnal on 11 x 17 paper which I can 
fold and saddle stitch. Could all this be done using InDesign? 
Probably but it wouldn't be as convenient.  
John Culleton, Wexford Press
"Create Book Covers with Scribus" $5.95 at

Free eps format barcode: http://www.tux.org/~milgram/bookland/

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