Semantic TeX

Peter Wilson at
Sun Aug 30 19:39:13 CEST 2020

I'm unclear as to in what sense "semantic" is being used here. In my 
Chambers Dictionary semantic is defined as "relating to meaning, esp. of 
words". I would have thought that LaTeX macros like \title, \chapter, 
\caption, and so on are semantic. Or is the intent to specify words as 
nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.? If every word has to have a defined 
semantic then you are faced with approaching an infinity of 
specifications. What is the semantic of the word "taghairm"?

Peter W.

On 30/08/20 17:44, Philip Taylor wrote:
> William F Hammond via texhax wrote:
>> Aaron Gray<aaronngray.lists at>  writes:
>>> Should be titled "Towards a Semantic TeX" maybe.
>> Isn't LaTeX already partly semantic?
> It can be, if the user elects to use semantic markup. Unfortunately, 
> because of its design, it is quite possible to write a valid LaTeX 
> document that gives absolutely no clue whatsoever as to the implied 
> semantics.  Far better, in my experience, to express the document 
> semantics in XML and then write a TeX processor that can handle the 
> chosen XML subset and directly typeset the document from the XML 
> source.  See, for example, /Cataloguing the Greek manuscripts of the 
> Lambeth Palace Library: An exercise in transforming Excel into PDF via 
> XML using (Plain) XƎTEX 
> <>.
> Philip Taylor
> / 

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