[tex4ht] consolidating all tex4ht configuration files into one standard file?

Nasser M. Abbasi nma at 12000.org
Sun May 1 22:23:06 CEST 2016

Just some wild idea I was thinking about I thought to share it
to see if it makes sense:

Currently, for configuration of tex4ht, there are three configurations
files that I know about (are there more?), these are

1.  the personal foo.cfg used by tex4ht
2.  tex4ht.env in (texmf-dist/tex4ht/base/unix/tex4ht.env)
3.  foo.mk4  used when one builds using make4ht (make4ht -e foo.mk4)

For example, now I build using something like this

make4ht -c ~/nma.cfg -e ~/main.mk4 index.tex "more options added"

It will be great if we can have only one common standard single
configuration file that combines everything in one place, where
all setting are in.

May be using XML formatting for organizing the file in sections
and subsections.

In a dream world, one then would only need to do

    (make4ht or tex4ht)  -c  foo.ZZZ   my_latex.tex

And it all just works.

Where now foo.ZZZ (the common config) file will have everything
in it.  No options, and no separate configuration files elsewhere,
but everything is self contained in this one configuration file.

This way, these configurations files can be exchanged and we
can even have some database of customized config files for certain
style builds and such.

One can even think of having a GUI build to generate such file based
on user selected setting they want. Similar to the GUI used to
configure apache server setting for example.

Now it is hard to even think of doing such a GUI for tex4ht configuration,
since there are many places where tex4ht can be configured
fromand it is very confusing.

Is such a thing feasible? I know this would require changes
in many places, but it is something for the distance future to consider
and it will require careful design first.


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