Going to have to convert XML to LaTeX

Heinz Kirchmann kirchman at dfki.uni-kl.de
Fri Feb 14 08:34:01 PST 2003


> Why are you using XML?
> I think LaTex is much better for writing books.
> And also easier to learn than XML.
Especially for the LFS book XML is the far better approach for
everything beyond layout. LaTex is not designed to contain tags for
shell commands or download addresses, so you will loose the possibility
to extract this stuff from the book automatically.

In my opinion the best approach would be to have _one_ version of the 
book containing all you need to automatically build a LFS system, 
properly(!) tagged.
Furthermore you need some xslt stylesheets to convert the book
  a) into one huge shellscript building an automatic LFS for you
  b) into a nice looking html version
  c) into a docbook document
  d) into a printable version of the book (possibly via LaTex)

I'm sure LaTex is much easier, but I like the power hidden in XML, 
especially together with XSL transformation. I confess: it's not fun to 
write stylesheets or XML documents, it's hard to read and the documents 
are bloated. And I have to say: I don't know much about point d) above 
and perhaps _today_ it is not possible to convert documents into pdf 
easily. But: somewhen it will be possible and a XML document is 
"weighing" much more than a LaTex document: it forces you to produce 
well structured documents and offers standard mechanisms to convert 
into pretty looking stuff.

Just my 2 Cents.

Heinz

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