On Mon, 10 Jun 2013 16:02:15 -0500
stefano franchi <stefano.fran...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 1:44 PM, Les Denham <lden...@hal-pc.org>
> wrote:

> > I use LyX rather than Word (or its clones) because it allows me to
> > produce a presentable document in about half the time it takes with
> > Word. This is emphatically the case if it is a document requiring a
> > detailed table of contents, an index, or a bibliography, or if it
> > contains figures, cross-references or footnotes.
> >
> >
> I guess that's the very reason why we all use LyX. I certainly
> wouldn't be as productive in Word. But those of us working in the
> Humanities (at least some Humanities) then have to budget some time
> to convert the output to Word. Nothing else is accepted. I tend to
> think best-sellers authors' position is closer to us than to a
> physicist's, a mathematician's or a logician's. That's why a minimal
> and yet reliable LyX-to-Doc converter---a topic we've repeatedly
> discussed on the list---would make such a difference to the
> non-technical user, IMHO.

Stephano, you bring up an important point...

Ten years ago, I used LyX only because it was a front end to LaTeX. Now
I use it because it's an ultra-fast, styles-enforcing wordprocessor.
I've used it to make Kindle eBook (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006QTBLA2),
which has absolutely nothing to do with LaTeX. Now I'm making a
converter to make it do simple HTML like you'd find on a web page,
rather than as input to an eBook. One thing perhaps I haven't
appreciated til now is what a good, fast and efficient wordprocessor
LyX is. It knows when you press space twice it was a mistake and only
prints one space. It knows when you press Enter twice that it's a
mistake and prints only one. It makes fingerprinting difficult, which
is just what I want. And I've never had LyX lose my work.

These days, it could be used as a front end to anything with the proper
styles defined, and the proper converter. So the same LyX file could be
used to output LaTeX, MSWord doc, XHTML, HTML, simple HTML, or who
knows what else.

To more easily accommodate this, it seems to me like layout files
should be split into an input side and an output side, with the output
side capable of multiple output formats. So the input side might look
something like this:

CharStyle MyEmph
        Shape Italic

if outputtype == latex
   outputName   latexlayout.layout/myemphL
   outputType   Command
elsif outputtype == simplehtml
   outputName   simphtmllayout.layout/myemphH
   outputType   InlineTag
else outputtype == msword
   outputName   winwordlayout.layout/myemphW
   outputType   CharacterStyle

Environments would be similar.

Ideally it would be designed so that it doesn't syntax check inside the
output type's it's not. That way you can develop one output type at a
time without getting errors from the ones you haven't developed yet.

It seems to me that something like this would be a logical way of
turning LyX into a universal front end while changing very little of
LyX's core code.

I'm not a good enough programmer to do this in C++, so feel free to view
this suggestion with some healthy skepticism.



Steve Litt                *  http://www.troubleshooters.com/
Troubleshooting Training  *  Human Performance

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