Note that LaTeX is an input format - it will output to many output
formats - even to ASCII. (And, of course, it sits on top of and
drives TeX itself.)
As a physicist, I have used LaTeX a lot. It has a steep learning
curve - much more than with, say, html.
When I did a set of conference proceedings in LaTEX -
Proc. USNO Workshop on Relativistic Models for use in Space Geodesy,
most of the papers went fine, a few just would not display
correctly and took a lot of tweaking just
to get them to look halfway right. These last took a lot of time.
TeX / LaTeX is like that.
So, most journals today use style sheets, such as the AMS-TEX ones,
and templates, to enforce their look and feel.
I suspect they have issues from time to time even with that.
Oh, and if an email line begins with "From" and get turns into
">From", LaTex will turn that into
"<upside down ?>From", which you can see in the strangest places,
once you know to look for it.
There are a few WSIWYG editors for Tex/LaTex, but most people I know
use a text editor.
I certainly would not regard moving everything to LaTeX as a trivial
On Jan 9, 2006, at 12:59 PM, Steven M. Bellovin wrote:
In message <43C28701(_dot_)4000203(_at_)cisco(_dot_)com>, Scott W Brim writes:
On 01/09/2006 10:41 AM, Sam Hartman allegedly wrote:
Are you looking for normative figures? If so, can you point to an
example where you think they are necessary? (I'd like to avoid a
discussion of packet diagrams for the moment if that's OK)
Normative figures perhaps. Normative equations definitely.
Is there any input format for *just* equations (or figures), standing
by themselves, which we can agree is open, standardized, stable and
deterministic in output?
LaTeX is the standard in the math and theory world. It's free, and
runs on just about everything. If I recall correctly what Kernighan
once said, eqn was designed so that its input language was more or
less what one mathematician would say to another over the phone, which
(I assume) would help with accessibility. There are open source
of eqn; I think that they run on more or less anything, too.
In the pure HTML world, there's MathML, though it's *really* ugly to
read. I have no idea how much it's supported by today's browsers.
(Kernighan started working on an eqn to HTML translator some years
but back then no browser really worked properly for it.)
Note that I'm *not* saying we should adopt any of these for RFCs; I'm
simply saying that there are some well-known systems that satisfy at
least your four criteria.
--Steven M. Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb
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