[texhax] [pdftex] TeX as a composition server?

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Mon Oct 25 13:46:50 CEST 2010

On Oct 23, 2010, at 7:06 AM, Peter Davis wrote:

> The problem I'm now facing is trying to create a server that can produce results "similar to"[1] InDesign, but much faster.  This would be for documents already created in InDesign and exported to an XML format, so the task would be to convert the XML to whatever-TeX (possibly via XSLT), and then compose the results at a rate of thousands of pages per minute.  The server would have to support TrueType/OpenType and Type 1 fonts, though I could put off worrying about CID-keyed fonts for a while.  It *may* be possible to convert any required fonts to T1 format, and even extract TFM on the fly.
> Ideally, I'd like to be able to invoke this server with some style parameters, box dimensions, and a stream of marked-up text.  The stream could contain TeX mark-up for changing fonts, color, style, etc.  We'd like to have something like longtables also.  The server would return the formatted composed box (in .dvi format?) and a pointer to how much of the input text stream was able to fit in the box, so that the server could be re-invoked with another box for overflow.
> I don't mind the propsect of writing my own macros, but I don't want to duplicate features that are already available in some existing format or package.

The closest thing to this (I happen to be working on the same thing at the moment here at work) which I've found is:

 - xelatex (or lualatex) (chose latex for familiarity's sake and availability of packages)
 - xmltex
 - custom .xmt files which apply all the formatting

The problem I've hit is that I've not yet been able to create an xexmltex format file yet.


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.

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