[texhax] TeX to LaTeX

Uwe Lück uwe.lueck at web.de
Fri Oct 14 09:03:26 CEST 2005

Late comments about which I have thought some busy days,
recognizing the other comments:

At 01:51 06.10.05, Karl Berry wrote:

>2) I don't expect you find it especially interesting, but for the
>    record, the new Eplain 3.0 release (http://tug.org/eplain) has
>    support for live url's a la hyperref.  You can also load the LaTeX
>    graphics and color packages.  Among other things.
>    No "simplified access to esoteric fonts" (or even non-esoteric ones),
>    though.  (There's the independent package plnfss, "plain nfss",
>    although I've never used it.)
> > If I were you, I'd try wrapping your Plain TeX source file in
> > a LaTeX wrapper and seeing how well or how badly it fares ...
[... part of Phil Taylor's message]

These and other comments by Phil Taylor and Karl Berry referred to a "trial 
at converting ..."

Karl Berry is certainly experienced enough to judge the ensuing 
considerations (he contributed
without mentioning what an editor -- like Karl Berry -- desires):

1a. When a journal asks for a LaTeX submission instead of a Plain TeX
submission, the reason is typically _not_ that Plain TeX could _crash_
(or the like) in entering the article for producing the entire issue.

1b. The journal will _not_ intend to get the author's _layout_
("physical design" -- which [s]he obtained by some Plain TeX commands)
through some LaTeX commands replacing original Plain TeX commands.

1c. Rather, the reason may be that the journal wants to fit the contributions
to a general -- fairly consistent -- _layout characterizing the journal or 

-- alpha) This layout may (partially) just be the one that Standard LaTeX 

-- beta) At least concerning certain aspects (like the style of headings),
the journal may prefer its own style of headings etc. -- which needn't
conform to the styles supported by Standard LaTeX; rather the LaTeX
command names may be used as "hooks" (as some _logical_ markup)
for implementing the journal's (or publisher's) particular layout style.


2. When a journal asks for a LaTeX submission instead of a Plain TeX
submission, the reasons typically rather are _general layout considerations_
(etc.) from the journal or the publisher (-- in place of what the author[s] 
have had in mind):

2a. The journal may strongly be interested in spacings etc. and font
choices very different from what the author once had in mind.

2b. Moreover or more generally, LaTeX's \author, \title, abstract commands
as well as similar additional commands (which only the journal class may
provide) may be required by the journal for placing respective informations
in the printed outcome of the article (according to the journal's 
particular style).

So I recommend to learn and apply the most basic LaTeX commands
in order to satisfy the intentions/desires of the journal/publisher.

Understood what I tried to transmit? [Moral: Take the request for LaTeX
seriously -- in order to have friends among the journal's producers!]

[Sorry, my logical structuring of the contribution doesn't seem optimal
to me, yet optimizing may need very more time.]


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