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Re: [Groff] groff as a backend

From: Pete Phillips
Subject: Re: [Groff] groff as a backend
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 09:54:49 +0000

>>>>> "Ted" =3D=3D (Ted Harding) <address@hidden> writes:

    Ted> As to a conventional "WYSIWYG" (i.e. the user edits in a
    Ted> graphics screen where he has the impression of working on the
    Ted> formatted output, =E0 la Word), I'm inclined to think this is not
    Ted> well suited for groff. I'm inclined from experience to think
    Ted> exactly the same for TeX/LaTeX, with reference to LyX and
    Ted> Scientific Word. I had hoped to improve my acquaintance with
    Ted> TeX/LaTeX by working with LyX as a sort of initiation, but
    Ted> found LyX hard to use to get desired effects, and actually
    Ted> found it was easier and more profitable to work with a text
    Ted> editor on the source file. Later, trying out Scientific Word, I
    Ted> found similar problems.

I have to say that although I am a vi/emacs addict (if you haven't used
MH-E to process your mail, give it a try), the LyX/LaTeX model works
well - LyX lets you embed ERT (evil red text - i.e., raw TeX or LaTeX
commands), and it doesn't try to do WYSIWYG as such, but rather shows
you the general layout. You can preview as dvi, pdf etc from one of the
menus, and also ask it to update an already running xdvi session.

All in all, LyX is a great tool for scientific papers. Combined with
pybliographic you can point at a reference in pybliographic and it
squirts it into LyX using a named pipe. Also cross-referencing works
very elegantly in LyX.  There is no doubt that doing references,
pictures, tables, cross-references etc in LyX is faster than doing it
with raw latex or groff, but the downside is no vi compatible
keystrokes, so entering text isn't as fast nor is it fun (although I'm
pretty competent with emacs keystrokes, nothing beats vi IMHO).

We have been able to do unusual things with LyX by embedding latex in
the files - just tell your users "DO NOT TOUCH THE RED TEXT!".

Regarding Larry's point about docbook, we use docbook for production of
papers for our online journal which we
postprocess with a tool from AxKit (perl based).  Yes, it is verbose,
but it allows us flexibility to rewrite the post-processing scripts
should we want to change, for example, the bibliography style, or the
order in which we present author information etc. As a result we can
reprocess all of our articles to get a consistent style.  LyX is
supposed to be able to produce docbook output, but I've never tried


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