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

From: root
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: noweb, pamphlets, and TeXmacs
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 20:27:41 -0500

>  > I've written some tutorial notes on the pamphlet idea to try to get
>  > everyone at the same level of discussion...
> Tim, 
> It sounds fascinating.  I'm delighted that Noweb might help enable
> such an interesting and ambitious project.
> Readers might be interested to know that Noweb supports documentation
> in LaTeX, troff, HTML or plain text, so there is some flexibility on
> the weaving side as well.
>  > ...
>  >
>  > 
>  > Currently noweb needs to expand the chunk definition syntax
>  > to handle some more general scheme such as a URL. We need to
>  > be able to extract code chunks from other pamphlets...
> My opinion is that this would be easy to do using a Noweb filter.

I'm not at the point where I've had time to think about the details
of this yet but I'll look at filters (again). As you remember my
last attempt failed due to my lack of sed/awk/shell skills. This
time I'll try harder.

>  > It would be useful if this could happen for text blocks also
>  > so that generally useful descriptions could be inserted into
>  > multiple pamphlets. Since the text blocks currently have
>  > no label this becomes problematic. We need to develop text
>  > labels so we can follow a uniform scheme. Multiple text blocks
>  > containing essentially the same information already exist in
>  > the system. This needs to be fixed.
> For complex documents, we have wound up storing both `code' and `text'
> in Noweb code chunks.  I have not explored clever ways of `weaving'
> such documents.

I've experimented with this. The problem is that chunking turns off
the TeX format mechanisms. This is the correct behavior for code but
not for the text. 

Further, I need two behaviors for text chunks. 

First, I need to be able to essentially \include a text chunk from
another document (or maybe a whole text root) into the current
document. This is to ensure that information that is widely needed is
not copied everywhere (otherwise some copies will be out of date).

I also need this ability in order to construct "booklets" without
copying the original sources but also without including the original
sources in total as \include would do. Think of a booklet as a thread
thru pamphlets with text along the threads. This will allow one to
write a chapter introduction, include some text and code chunks from
some pamphlet, and then write a summary or problems section (for a

Second, I need to \cite a text chunk in a woven document. Then I
can cross-reference the documents so a reader mechanism can follow
the citations. This comes from pondering ideas of how to read the
.dvi files in some rational way. I'm tempted to automatically 
construct an html tree on top of the dvi files but I'm not happy
with this solution for the long term. The reader has to be more
intelligent and know about pamphlets, booklets and citations.

The current thought for a text chunk mechanism is, as you suggest,
to use the code chunking mechanism. That would make it simple to
understand for the user which is important. However, noweave would
have to get a whole lot smarter so it can reconstruct the document
from the chunks before trying to TeXify it. It also needs to
construct a bibliography environment (but with a different name)
so the \cite{chunk} mechanism works across pamphlets. Using this
information would be up to the reader program.


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