[XeTeX] xe(la)tex to epub?

Michiel Kamermans pomax at nihongoresources.com
Wed Aug 18 02:28:51 CEST 2010

Khaled, Ross,

> As I wrote above, if it is about the structural formating, then it does
> not worth the trouble, it can be achieved with almost every tool and
> document format out there (even office suits can build structured
> documents). It is visual, the precise output, where TeX excels which is
> totally lost during such conversions.
> This can be useful, however, if one have existing TeX material that need
> to be processed to other output format, though one can still argue that
> converting it ones to some sort of XML is much better long term plan.
> Don't get me wrong, I like TeX syntax and find it more easier to author
> with than many other markups, but I accept that it does not fit every
> need.

I write textbooks. I write these in TeX, because that allows me to 
easily modify very large, structured documents. I have used DocBook in 
the past, and the best way I can summarise it, is "easy to write 
initially, migraine inducingly insane to update or revise". It is really 
easy to mark up a document as DocBook, and it is then very hard to 
modify the structure without getting so frustrated with the utterly 
inadequate DocBook editors on the market that you resort to completely 
wiping the document's markup, moving everything around, and then 
reapplying all the markup.

TeX, on the other hand, is "steep learning curve for the initial 
document, child's play to revise". It's why I gave up DocBook in favour 
of TeX. So that's my situation. My texts are in TeX, and we take it from 
there: I would like to generate not just pdf, but also epub from these 
sources, without having to write a completely different book using a 
completely different toolchain that gives me two completely different 
documents with the same words in it... I can't even being to imagine the 
potential for errors and inconsistencies that introduces =)

It's not really about a favourite "synax", it's about having a tool that 
already produces a device independent document format that then gets 
converted to a specific device readable format. Can that independent 
format also be converted to epub? If it can't, that unfortunate, and 
perhaps someone will end up writing a dvi to epub driver (limited in its 
functionality by what epub offers for document layout). If it can, then 
that's great and I'd like to start using it as soon as possible.

- Mike

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