[XeTeX] xe(la)tex to epub?

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Wed Aug 18 02:48:59 CEST 2010

Hi Michiel,

On 18/08/2010, at 10:28 AM, Michiel Kamermans wrote:

> Khaled, Ross,

>> 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 =)

This is exactly what I expected.
Use of computer software for books, documentation, etc.
should be about what is convenient for the author to write
and maintain, not what is best suited to machine transfer.

> 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).

Agreed. Getting onto other devices is about having well-written
translators between formats. It certainly should not require
the author to re-write large chunks of manuscript.

Computers are meant to help people do a better job.
They should not be mandating requirements that force authors 
to do more work, of a repetitious nature that adds little 
extra value to work already done.

Of course someone needs to write those translators, and make
them sufficiently flexible as well as being robust.
But that's what computer scientists and programmers are
paid for, surely.   :-)

> If it can, then that's great and I'd like to start using it as soon as possible.

Sorry, I cannot promise time-lines for things that do not yet

> - Mike



Ross Moore                                       ross.moore at mq.edu.au 
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419      
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

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