Institut für Informatik

Technical Report No. 2, October 1987 - Abstract

Anne Brüggemann-Klein, Derick Wood:
Document Design with HiTeX: A Step beyond LaTeX

This report is not available in electronic form!

In a computerized environment document design involves three major acitivities, creating a new design, implementing a design specification for a given formatter, and developing new formatting procedures for new types of objects.

At universities and research labs, implementing design specifications and modifying existing formats is the most time consuming part, in particular, since publishers have begun to demand camera-ready copies subject to various style specifications from the authors.

In this paper we analyse how design specifications can be implemented with LaTeX. Because LaTeX is not thoroughly parameter-driven but partly of a procedural nature, design implementation can't be done in a uniform way and turns out to be too complicated. Furthermore, LaTeX is incompatible with the language of professional designers.

In a system like Scribe, on the other hand, the design of document components is given by the actual values of a set of parameters and can, therefore, be easily implemented. However, Scribe lacks the superior typographic quality provided by TeX, and it is not capable of handling documents of a higher complexity, because the set of style parameters in Scribe is fixed.

As a solution to this dilemma we present the concept of a new system called HiTeX. Based on a modular document model, the TeX-preprocessor HiTeX enables parameter-controlled implementations of design specifications for hierarchically nested documents. This is what makes TeX hi(erarchical).