[texhax] typesetting of a critical text editiom [parallel, "paired" fn]

Pierre MacKay pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Sat Jun 20 01:41:46 CEST 2009

Uwe Lueck wrote:

>1. Regarding ledpar, enter `ledpar' on http://tug.org/pipermail/texhax/.
>2. "Paired footnotes" have been implemented with bigfoot, not with ledmac/ledpar. However, this may not be so difficult. Along the previous item, you find the ledmac/ledpar developpers/maintainers. 
>3. For "original" even pages, "translation" odd pages, there is always the "brute" method: typeset original and translation as different LaTeX documents, augmenting the page number by 2 each, print them, sort the pages at a table using your hands, eyes, brain ... Roy Flechner told me that the fancyhdr package is helpful for this. 
>4. I would like to improve "parallel" functionality with manyfoot, bigfoot, lineno, ednotes on this, but this needs funding ... and I even cannot afford organizing this right now. 
>... Uwe.
Another way of looking at it ( perhaps an all-too-obvious Unix way) is 
to avoid forcing system A to do what is much better done by system B.  
When I have something that is an obvious case for emacs, I use emacs.  I 
do not try to get TeX macros to simulate emacs.  When Perl seems the 
right choice, I use Perl.  For facing translations, I set  verso pages 
in one file, using an increment of 2 for pagination, and recto pages in 
a separate file.  I can then do fine control of page ends with two 
instances of xdvi.  To blend the two files, I use dviselect and 
dviconcat, driven by a fairly simple bash script. 

The argument against this chain of programs is the one that Microsoft 
constantly blares, that every utility should do everything, including 
combing one's hair, in one massively complex slushy effort, no matter 
how inappropriate or incompatible various parts of the  the task are. 

The argument for the chain of programs is that each utility is doing 
what it does best, cleanly, and in a way that can easily be traced if 
anything goes wrong.  The Microsoft black-box solution, cramming every 
task into the same gargantuan utility, no matter how inappropriate, 
produces constant frustration, because the resultant programs become so 
complex that even their authors can't trace the errors.  I just don't 
think that it is a wise use of resources to try to make TeX pretend that 
it is Bash, or Perl, or emacs.  Someone once did a passable Basic 
interpreter with TeX macros, but I don't think he ever claimed that it 
should be used in place of Basic, if that was what you needed.

Pierre MacKay

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