3.6 Comparison to TeX

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The only external programs Logiweb uses are LaTeX, BibTeX, makeindex, dvipdfm, and a C compiler.

The need for using LaTeX, BibTeX, makeindex, and dvipdfm is quite annoying since the Logiweb renderer could in principle generate PDF files itself. Furthermore, rendering using LaTeX makes the rendering process dependent on what LaTeX packages are installed on the host system of the reader.

The TeX program itself is extremely stable and does not really posses a portability problem. But if a Logiweb author uses some LaTeX package during rendering then the same version of the package has to be available on the readers system if the readers system mirrors the page. That could easily become a problem for old Logiweb pages.

A countermeasure would of course be to include all needed LaTeX packages either in the page itself or in a common page which could be referenced by all pages using LaTeX.

There is one other problem as well: the typesetting algorithms of TeX are very good, but the input language of TeX is optimized for being written as plain text by humans. It is not optimized for being generated by other programs.

Finding a better way to include the capabilities of TeX into Logiweb would be nice, but until further, authors have to live with the system as it is. Porting TeX to Logiweb is much more that just porting the TeX program. The complete TeX system also comprises fonts, style files, auxiliary program, a dedicated community, and not least Knuth himself, and it is not obvious how to port all that to Logiweb.

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Copyright © 2010 Klaus Grue, GRD-2010-01-05