[XeTeX] XeTeX maintenance

Simon Cozens simon at simon-cozens.org
Mon Apr 27 14:40:56 CEST 2015

On 27/04/2015 19:39, Philip Taylor wrote:
> As to whether "XML is a particularly good format not only here or for
> anything", all I can say is that in my experience we (humanity, that is)
> have not yet come up with anything better; LaTeX 2e, by explicitly
> permitting the conflation of form and content, fails abysmally in this
> respect (IMHO, of course).

For what it's worth, SILE's approach to this is to have pluggable input
parsers, shipping with an XML and a "TeX-like" parser by default.

People who use software tools to author their documents, or convert them
in from other sources, can use the XML syntax; people authoring by hand
can use the TeX-like syntax. The two syntaces are isomorphic:

 <foo thing="wibble">bar</foo>
is equivalent to
and is also equivalent to

This means that if you have an XML document you want to typeset, you can
define processing expectations for its tags in an auxiliary class:

 SILE.registerCommand("foo", function(options,content)
    if options.thing == "wibble" then
        SILE.typeset(" (wobble)")

 % Or even \define[command=foo]{\dowhatever{\process}}

and then load in the class on the command line; the upshot being you can
then feed the XML file directly to SILE without having to mess about
with XSLT or whatever.

I haven't tried creating tagged PDFs with SILE yet - there isn't support
for this in the libtexpdf library so it would mean messing about with
raw PDF specials (essentially what luatex was doing). I don't need the
functionality myself right now, so it's not a priority.

But if this is going to be a big deal, and it sounds like it might be,
then it could be worth adding specials for PDF tagging into libtexpdf
and dvipdfmx.


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