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Conrad Schneiker wrote:

> Hi,
>
> "Charles Hixson" wrote:
> > Conrad Schneiker wrote:
> >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > Andrew Hunt wrote:
> > >
> > > > ...On that axis, LaTex and C++ are very volatile (perhaps even chaotic?
> :-)
> > > > languages.
> > >
> > > Good ol' LaTex. Fragile tools, brittle systems, and passive-aggressive
> > > software are terms that come to mind.
> > >
> >
> > But LaTex is a cross-platform way of telling the data to print.  Ruby
> > screen-paints via tcl, but how does one do formatted printing?  tex files
> are
> > the best answer that has yet occurred to me.
>
> I don't know of a better solution. My experience with it was many years ago,
> on an early PC port of LaTex, which may have compounded the usual infamous
> problems involved when you can't avoid having to tweak stuff. Under those
> conditions, I just found doing a couple of hundred pages of text in it to be
> about as much fun as driving on ice, down hill, during rush hour.
>
> Conrad

I didn't say that I liked it.  And I must admit that I haven't yet tried the
scheme.  But alternatives?  HTML doesn't even try to control formatting (...
well, it didn't at first.  The more recent versions of HTML seem to lean more
and more in that direction.)  At one point I was considering using Mozilla as
the print engine, but that's *WAY* to complex for a series of one person
projects.  XML?  Probably not this year.  SGML?  I think Tex is a better
choice.  And for Tex one can get ... ?drivers?  ?translators?  what-ever you
call the class of programs that turns a Tex file into a printout.

But it's truly amazing to me that so many languages leave a thing that is so
intimately related to the success of the language (in the Office area... which
includes a large part of the database / scripting area).  I'm convinced that a
large part of the success of Visual Basic, Visual C, MS Access, etc. is the ease
with which reports are generated.  They don't seem to have much advantage over
the other IDE's as development environments, but they make certain standardized
things very easy, reports prominent among them.


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