[texhax] Query : why can \ifnum comparison operators not be \let, yet \def is OK ?

Philip Taylor P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Wed Feb 3 19:51:13 CET 2016

Hallo Bill --

> You write in part:
>> All of my TeX work these days is XML based, which means that as
>> soon as I am ready to \input the first XML file, "<" must be
>> active.
> I take this to mean that you are processing xml documents directly in
> TeX.  Are you using David's xmltex or, otherwise what?  Are your xml
> documents created through editing by humans or are they generated by
> software?  If by editing, what are the principal xml document types
> (maybe TEI ?) being used?

At the moment, there are two suites of XML documents being processed;
one is a catalogue of Greek manuscripts in the Lambeth Palace Library
[1], the second is the edited transcripts of a series of interviews with
the residents of Horsmonden, to form the forthcoming "Oral History of

The first started life as an Excel spreadsheet (because that was the
work methodology with which the principal researcher was most familiar),
then imported into oXygen and exported as XML. The second was created
/ex nihilo/ by myself using oXygen to import the plain text output from
Microsoft Publisher in which it was first prepared/edited.

Neither follow TEI, although the intention is that the XML of the former
will be transformed into TEI using XSLT for the benefit of future
scholars who wish to data-mine our work. There are no plans at present
to similarly transform the Horsmonden work.

No pre-existing libraries/packages/whatever are used, and in particular
not David's "xmltex"; all code was hand-written by myself in plain
XeTeX.  There is a preliminary article describing the LPL Greek MSS
catalogue work in Τὸ Εὔτυπον / The Eutypon 10/2013 [2], mirrored at the
Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway [3].

> Thanks for your patience with my curiosity.

My pleasure !
** Phil.
[2] http://www.eutypon.gr/eutypon/pdf/e2013-31/e31-a02.pdf

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