6 votes

KeenType 1.0.0

5 comments

  1. [4]
    talklittle
    Link
    Congratulations on 1.0 of the library. I've seen your progress updates on KeenWrite in the weekly recurring topics, and it's great to see people sticking through and hitting milestones on long...

    Congratulations on 1.0 of the library. I've seen your progress updates on KeenWrite in the weekly recurring topics, and it's great to see people sticking through and hitting milestones on long term projects.

    KeenWrite, I take it, is kind of a replacement for the de facto way of writing academic papers, replacing things like LaTeX? I remember using LaTeX back in the day and it was super clunky, similar to the drudgery of hand-writing HTML or XML. If that could be mostly replaced with Markdown and a WYSIWYG editor, that would be pretty revolutionary for those poor PhD and Masters students.

    I'm unfamiliar with the current state of the art. Are there similar projects out there, to compare with? Or is this a novel approach as far as you're aware?

    Also I took a peek at KeenType's custom "NTS" license, inherited from an older upstream project. Very interesting, it sounds like they basically discourage editing the core files, and instead suggest to build things as extensions. Basically they want derivative projects to copy and distribute the upstream project source files wholesale, and then bundle diffs alongside it.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      DaveJarvis
      Link Parent
      Thank you for the encouragement! Not at this time. I started KeenWrite because I wanted to use variables and living documents while writing a sci-fi novel (alpha readers wanted!). The novel has a...

      great to see people sticking through and hitting milestones on long term projects.

      Thank you for the encouragement!

      KeenWrite, I take it, is kind of a replacement for the de facto way of writing academic papers, replacing things like LaTeX?

      Not at this time. I started KeenWrite because I wanted to use variables and living documents while writing a sci-fi novel (alpha readers wanted!). The novel has a complex timeline that I wanted to make sure was kept straight. There's also a genealogy diagram that I wanted to avoid having to update whenever I changed characters' names. I'm also a proponent of the idea that information must have a single, authoritative source in any system. Hence variables for character names, places, birth dates, speech tics, etc.

      I also didn't want to write the novel in LaTeX or ConTeXt. I'd rather use something a little less tightly-bound to any one particular typesetting system. Markdown seemed fairly timeless. What's amazing about ConTeXt is that it can typeset XML documents. And, since XHTML is a type of XML document, it follows that Markdown can be first transformed into XHTML and then typeset into a PDF file. Pandoc can go straight from Markdown to *TeX. KeenWrite requires KeenWrite Themes to stylize the document during typesetting.

      There are two large items missing from KeenWrite that are absolutely required before it could be used for a thesis. Cross-references (figures, tables, equations, etc.) and citations. I've written some notes on the topic on the CommonMark site. There looks to be a way to unify all types of references under one syntax.

      There's an issue for it, though.

      Are there similar projects out there, to compare with? Or is this a novel approach as far as you're aware?

      I haven't looked for other tools, so maybe someone else can answer. There are no text editors or word processors that I've seen, heard of, or used that provide an easy way to use variables in documentation. M$ Word takes fourteen steps to insert a variable. I suspect that few separate content from presentation to the degree of KeenWrite.

      Basically they want derivative projects to copy and distribute the upstream project source files wholesale, and then bundle diffs alongside it.

      Knuth did it to ensure that TeX remained TeX so that any typesetting system that purported to be TeX would generate the same output, no matter what. I replaced KeenTeX (a JMathTeX fork) with KeenType and am trying to steer away from TeX naming altogether. Knuth's license made sense for his files (plain.tex, hyphen.tex, and so forth). It doesn't make sense for Java source files, and is a bit of a prickly pear.

      If you haven't checked them out, here are a few Markdown files I typeset using ConTeXt:

      I started to migrate the theme for the first link, it's called Solare and is part of KeenWrite Themes.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        talklittle
        Link Parent
        Appreciate you laying out the background. Very cool that you're writing a novel using the tool. Be sure to post a link in ~creative, and maybe ~books when it's more or less finished. I'd be...

        Appreciate you laying out the background. Very cool that you're writing a novel using the tool. Be sure to post a link in ~creative, and maybe ~books when it's more or less finished. I'd be interested in trying at least a few chapters, although I'm not a sci-fi buff and my feedback will be limited.

        I'm not at all qualified to talk about the typesetting, but if the new tool produces output identical to the ConTeXt output, then that's impressively professional quality to my layman's eye.

        Thanks for sharing. I'll continue to check out updates posted to Tildes.

        1 vote
        1. DaveJarvis
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Although KeenType, technically, produces the same overall output as other TeX-based typesetters, ConTeXt (and LaTeX) have extensive functionality built on top (of Plain TeX). I modernized NTS into...

          I'm not at all qualified to talk about the typesetting, but if the new tool produces output identical to the ConTeXt output, then that's impressively professional quality to my layman's eye.

          Although KeenType, technically, produces the same overall output as other TeX-based typesetters, ConTeXt (and LaTeX) have extensive functionality built on top (of Plain TeX). I modernized NTS into KeenType so that KeenWrite can preview math expressions in real-time, to give a general idea rather than the polished output. The Markdown document is fed from KeenWrite into ConTeXt when the user is ready to produce a PDF file. I'm making a series of videos that demonstrates how it all works.

          I'd be interested in trying at least a few chapters, although I'm not a sci-fi buff and my feedback will be limited.

          Awesome! Email me and I'll send you a copy; I'm at my user name @ gmail.

          3 votes
  2. DaveJarvis
    Link
    KeenType 1.0.0 is a 100% pure Java library that can transform plain TeX into SVG documents. Output: Equations Document Sample Document Enjoy!

    KeenType 1.0.0 is a 100% pure Java library that can transform plain TeX into SVG documents. Output:

    Enjoy!

    1 vote