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[Axiom-developer] Re: noweb, pamphlets, and TeXmacs

From: Anthony B. Coates
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: noweb, pamphlets, and TeXmacs
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 21:27:57 GMT

** Reply to message from "Bill Page" <address@hidden> on Sun, 24 Nov
2002 15:00:24 -0500

A couple of things.  TeXmacs looks nice.  I wish I had as nice a front end for
xmLP.  I've often felt that the lack of nice front-ends has hurt the take-up of
LitProg (& Emacs does not count as a nice front-end, not for the 95% majority).
An ideal LitProg editor would be WYSIWYG, so that what you see when editing is
equivalent to what you would get with a traditional LitProg tool after
"weaving" the documentation.

Note that xmLP takes most of its ideas on literate programming from FunnelWeb
( which supports TeX, LaTeX, and HTML as
underlying document formats, as well as providing its own markup for simple
documents.  So, you could copy ideas from FunnelWeb to use in TeXmacs, if you

> I agree completely with your point of view. It is
> essential to find some way to keep it simple the
> way Norman managed to do with WEB. I think the
> trouble with powerful (i.e. very flexible and
> expressive) languages like XML is that there is an
> urge to become less "humble" (in the sense of Edsger
> Dykstra).

XML markups for documents, e.g. DocBook, are no more complicated than LaTeX. 
However, what one hopes to get from XML is composability & reusability.  Hence
xmLP defines a minimal set of tags, and a combination of DocBook + MathML +
xmLP would provide much the same functionality as I used when using FunnelWeb
for my physics studies, if had a suitable way to produce printed output (and
that would probably require PassiveTeX, so I still wouldn't be able to escape
TeX as an underlying technology).

Anthony B. Coates, Information & Software Architect
MDDL Editor (Market Data Definition Language)

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