[XeTeX] XeTeX maintenance

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Mon Apr 27 14:42:23 CEST 2015

2015-04-27 13:57 GMT+02:00 Philip Taylor <P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk>:

> Zdenek Wagner wrote:
> > Formatting advices should better be present in processing instructions.
> > You can type <?TeX something?> <?HTML something else ?> etc.
> Why do you write "better", Zdeněk ?  They /can/ be expressed as
> processing instructions, but that would require an augmented parser;
> they can equally well be expressed as attributes or as a <pragmat> -- I
> do not think that either is "better", they are simply different.  XML is
> an /eXtensible/ Markup Language -- one should never hesitate to extend it.

If you want to describe the page layout in a structured way, the <page> ...
</page> markup might cause other mark up not well formed. Of course, if the
XML is for your own purpose, you can do anything. Even if it is not
suggested by XML experts, it may be helpful. And if you like to use XML
regularly, I would strongly suggest to learn one of the schema languages
(Relax NG or W3C Schema) and write the document using a validating XML
editor. You have to invest some time but then it saves you a lot of work.

> > Such parsers already exist in luatex and ConTeXt. I only know about
> > them, I have never used them. And FO may be processed by passiveTeX. And
> > there are, of course,  numerous other tools.
> All of which will typically have a steep learning curve.  In my
> experience, it is usually better to write a tool for oneself; in that
> way, not only does one have an innate understanding of how it works, one
> can easily amend or augment it if it fails to deliver.  Other people's
> tools, on the other hand, rarely deliver /exactly/ what is required, and
> it is only too easy to blame the tool when one's own package fails to
> deliver in turn, rather than attempt to fix a tool which is very easy to
> exploit but very hard to modify.  Far too many example of this abound in
> the real world for me to single out any one as an example, but suffice
> to say that one does not need to look outside the TeX world in order to
> find examples ...

Yes, I agree, I do the same. For instance, I do not use the geometry
package but I have my own zwpagelayout. And if you develop something, you
certainly learn a lot. It might be useful for you to see how SAX processors
work. It is not necessary to study a code of any of them, just to see a
brief description which SAX events are generated. It can be a good
inspiration for your work.

> ** Phil.
> Zdeněk Wagner
> http://hroch486.icpf.cas.cz/wagner/
> http://icebearsoft.euweb.cz
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