pierodancona / gmail.com writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
>>
>> Well, I don't want to sound dismissive either.  I read TeX, the
>> Program, quite thoroughly, and I contributed the last iteration of
>> pdfsync.sty because it broke too many of my tools and packages.
>
> :))) Well David, that's a little dismissive,

Oh, and I so tried following your lead.

> but you're one of the 5-or-so ubermasters of TeX and I must just
> take it. Sorry.  In 2003 people were constantly complaining that
> they missed TeXtures so much and how it was wonderful with synchro
> etc etc.  I started to think a little and came up with this idea.
> Tried to convince a couple of TeX gurus, no answer from them, so I
> cooked up a quick and dirty style file that sort of worked, just to
> entice someone better than me to do something better.  (I'm no
> coder, just a mathematician! :) Sorry that your contribution was
> kind of extorted, though...

Well, these days I don't produce much apart from the extorted things,
so...

>> In a similar vein, ports of TeX tend to be just TeX, nothing else,
>> and/or not useful.  And in particular, not pretty, and that means
>> that nobody bothers working with the results.
>
> That's a clear answer: porting TeX is not remotely trivial,
> and just the wrong thing to do. I was more thinking
> of porting selected pieces of TeX, but probably the tangle
> (or the web) is too tight.

It's not easy to do.  TeXmacs <URL:http://www.texmacs.org> apparently
implemented quite a number of TeX-based algorithms in either C or
Scheme.  But that probably does not meddle with TeX's grouping,
expansion and variable model mess.

>> At the current point of time there are two projects that are
>> somewhat interesting in that regard: ExTeX (Java again, TeX
>> compatible) and Ant (OCaml currently, TeX inspired, can work with
>> LaTeX files to some degree IIRC).
>
> Why Java again? maybe because at the time ruby or python were not so
> well accepted?

Basically it was what the project lead felt comfortable with.

> Thank you for the pointer to Ant, I'll take a look at it.

It was in Scheme at some earlier point of time IIRC, then moved to
OCaml, likely for performance reasons.

-- 
David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum