[rfc-i] LaTeX proposal misunderstood

Yaakov Stein yaakov_s at rad.com
Tue Mar 27 23:38:44 PDT 2012

Hi all,

After hearing from several people after the BOF yesterday,
I believe that perhaps I was not clear enough.

What I suggested was to move from XML to LaTeX as input format,
and to make the LaTeX source code the normative (and everlasting) version.

There would be a suite of converters (most of which exist today and run on every conceivable platform)
that convert on-the-fly LaTeX source into HTML, PDF, plain text, epub, etc. for viewing and/or printing.

By moving from XML to LaTeX we automatically get beautiful equations,
various graphics, international characters, metadata, etc.
It is also MUCH easier and more intuitive to use than the present XML,
produces much nicer documents,
and there are dozens of (introductory to advanced) books describing its use.

The only "special" thing we would need to maintain is an RFC style file
(with the defaults, boiler plate, headers/footers, etc.).
We would not need to continue coding tcl or xslt for our own proprietary typesetting formats
as everything else is taken care of by the large and mostly Open Source TeX ecosystem.
Since TeX is used by all major publication houses and academic journals,
this ecosystem is not going away any time soon.

Perhaps someone would be able to develop semi-automated tools to convert old text
or xml documents to the new format.
Although a nontrivial job, that is no harder than creating a text to xml or text to epub converter.


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