TeXML is not at XML Prague 2010

To my great surprise, TeXML presentation was not accepted for XML Prague 2010. It's so unexpected, that I'm even not upset, only puzzled. TeXML is one of a few projects which are somehow revolutionary. Seems it's my fault I didn't make it clear. The abstract, the reviews and conclusions follow.


TeXML: XML to PDF through LaTeX

TeXML is an approach to XML to PDF conversion, an alternative to the XSLT/FO way. The characteristic features are:

* LaTeX is used as a typesetting engine.
* XML logical markup is converted to LaTeX logical markup.
* The low-level formatting details are hidden in LaTeX style files, not in conversion scripts.
* XML to LaTeX conversion scripts are straightforward thanks to an intermediate XML-based language.
* Generated LaTeX code is human-friendly and ready for modification.

To be a real alternative to the established standard, TeXML needs unique competitive advantages. The main are:

* Poor quality auto-layout artifacts in generated PDFs can be fixed by editing LaTeX code.
* Separation of work is encouraged: programmers do programming, and typesetting specialists do layout definition.
* The process is based on open-source tools.

The paper is written from the XML perspective. Only basic knowledge of LaTeX is assumed. TeXML is compared with alternative TeX-based XML-to-PDF projects. Practical experience of using TeXML in production is given. Problems and listed together with the solutions. An appendix provides an example of a simple publishing project, with step-by-step instructions how to convert XML to PDF using TeXML approach.



I think that TeXML is not new project and given it's non-mainstream technology I don't think that XML Prague is right venue for having presentation about it.


There's nothing new in this paper that hasn't been said in the last 10 years. Furthermore there is no paper attached.

Strong Reject

lacks enough detail to make a positive decision


Not matching this year's topics.


The paper presents a tool for generating PDF output from XML via an XML representation of LaTeX called TeXML, which seems to be a useful light-weight approach for producing high-quality output in the kinds of applications where TeX excels. This topic, however, is a bit distant from the conference focus for this year.


My habit of sending an abstract only and writing the paper later has failed here: 2 rejects of 5 reviews. As of not matching this year's topics, usually it doesn't matter.

For me, it seems the failure is due to a bit of unluck. Being of non-mainstream (thanks to the first reviewer for pointing it to me), I get reviewers who a bit distant from publishing XML on paper and don't see any use for TeXML. Contrary, the real users of TeXML are excited with it, and I believe the users more than reviewers.


Re-write the abstract and paper so that even reviewers not in topic understand that something important happens.

Finally release the working DocBook stylesheets to be less non-mainstream.

Rework the site, add more new documentation.

Categories: TeXML