[tex-live] free software, DFSG

Sebastian Rahtz sebastian.rahtz at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
Fri Jun 4 21:36:35 CEST 2004

Charley Bay wrote:

>The (X)HTML only kicks in because it's reasonably
>fast to generate and trade, and it's a reasonably
>agreed upon format with widely available (dynamic)
>rendering engines built for speed and feature, and
>not quality of the output.  TeX (and high quality
>typesetting in general) will never compete with that,
>but it wasn't meant to.
agreed. but 10-15 years ago quite a few people were using (La)TeX
for the purposes we now rightly use HTML for

>In contrast, I see typesetting as still relevant
>for high quality offline rendering (speed is always
>nice, but we render offline and merely distribute the
>fully typeset result).  The continuing prevolence of
>PDF and printed documentation seem to justify that
>paradigm as well.
The key word there is "prevalence". I'd argue with it. I'd say that  yes 
there is much PDF around,
but its getting less as the web improves. I, like many another person, 
deliver PDF versions of my web pages
as PDF dynamically (using TeX, in fact), but its very much a niche thing 
which doesnt get used much.

>additional typesetting instruction, but it wasn't
>meant for that and I don't see any interest nor
>discussion in the (X)HTML camps in ever going there.
>They generally don't deal with concepts like Tables
>of Contents, nested section numbering, indices, nor
>even footnotes.
thats because we have a nice "standard" in the shape of XSL FO for that work

 > it seems like there should be a good 'to-be-typeset'
 > specification also. I'm not real impressed with FO,
 > but maybe that's the direction. We still need a
 > rendering engine.

and we have quite a few engines which implement XSL FO. three good 
commerical ones, three bad
open source ones, at least

>Ok.  I find the commercial XSL FO tools are ok,
>but the open source ones are pretty broken.  The
>quality of the output isn't nearly as good as 
>through today's TeX, IMHO.  I'm reluctant to give
>up that quality of output.
so, work to improve the FO engines. xmlroff needs workers!


More information about the tex-live mailing list