ANNOUNCE: erlguten

Marc Ernst Eddy van Woerkom <>
Wed Mar 12 19:33:50 CET 2003


> TeX/LaTeX also are  flawed - TeX can't line up  rows in two parallel
> columns.

It was an early system to typeset maths and a glorious example of
literate programming (you can reconstruct the whole system from the
publications even in 500 years).

Of course it can't be the end of all things DTP

BTW I recommend the book

  http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/dt.html


> The use of LaTeX in  producing scientific documents has resulted  
> in virtually all publications looking identical - 
> the typography is often awful as are the  fonts -  believe  
> me there  are  some really  *beautiful* type  1
> postscript fonts which deserve to get used in scientific publications.

I guess that is due to TeX being free with one (older) font, and
professional fonts costing both money (priced in professional regions)
and are available only from a few sources. E.g. the lucida fonts that 
were used for the LaTeX compagnion. I never encountered it in a book shop. 
So most folks took the old font.

Even now, when it is possible to use a rather nice post script font in your 
LaTeX doc, e.g.
  
  http://www.utdallas.edu/~ryoung/txfonts/

one still encounters those horrible dvips2pdf-ized LaTeX docs, which don't
scale.


> Erlguten design will  reflect this - the idea  (not yet implemented)
> is to have a small number of templates + a large database of articles.

Thats the basic style file idea from LaTeX, or?


> The other point is *quality* I want to achieved the highest possibly
> quality  - MS word  etc. get  character kerning  *wrong* and  miss out
> ligatures  - they make  typographically crazy  decisions -  setting up
> fixed columns (a la newspaper) is terribly difficult.

I would need to train my typographic know-how.
Anyone knows a standard book which is used to train typographers?


> There seems to be no good  free software to produce high quality PDF
> from XML  (I looked) the industry  "standard" way of doing  this is to
> use XSLT to transform XML to the FOSSI XML DTD and then transform this
> to a  subset of  TeX and then  transform this  to PDF. 

Somebody programmed a XSLT processor in TeX

  http://www.hobby.nl/~scaprea/context/

It so you can e.g. render Docbook into PDF.
If it is good I can't judge.


> This  method is extremely  complicated and  
> incredibly difficult  to produce  any good results (I've tried).

Yes the setup is a PITA. The FreeBSD docbook team created an impressive
metaport just for setting up the tools.

  http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/cvsweb.cgi/ports/textproc/docproj/

It has also pitfalls like overflows of the standard pool sizes for
PDFTeX for a real world sized book. So you need to tweak the pool sizes.


>   *beautiful* typefaces -  and get the layout right -  try reading a few
>   books on  typography first :-)  ((seriously)) 

Please recommend some.

Regards,
Marc



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