19th TEX Users Group Conference TUG '98
Toruń, 17-20 August 1998
Tutorial 2

Document design, document markup, and the converging worlds of computer typesetting and electronic publishing.

Speakers: Philip Taylor, RHBNC University of London, UK,
Jiri Zlatuska, FI Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

The traditional skills of document and book design are now of value to a far wider audience than had traditionally been the case: not only are authors increasingly being expected to be their own designer and typesetter, but web page creators (an ever increasing number) as well need to be aware of the traditional rules which affect legibility and readability. Fortunately the languages/tools which are used for typesetting are increasingly becoming interchangeable with those used for web page specification, and in this tutorial we will illustrate how informed choice of these languages/tools can significantly affect the reusability of electronic documents.

Part I: Book and document design.
Why design matters;
Learning by osmosis;
What is a "book"?
Uniformity, information, structure;
Use of white space;
Perceived grey levels;
Problems of print-through;
The concept of the Grid;
When the grid breaks down;
The spread as atomic entity;
Consistency in layout/placement;
The zeroth rule of fonts;
Uniformity and information in conflict;
Semantic line-breaks;
Monotonic relationships;
Non-conflicting hierarchies;
The act of reading;
Design as artistic statement;
Avoiding backtracking;
Paragraphing conventions;
Serif v. sans serif fonts;
The importance of the measure;
How big is a book?
What is a "10pt font"?
Font size v. leading;
Proofing for designers;
The structure of a book;
Referencing and cross-referencing;
Folios and the art/science dichotomy;
The figure-placement problem;

Part 2: From document design to web page design.
Web documents design;
Logical document layout;
Hypertext structure of documents;
Menus, icons, buttons, frames;
The graphical user interface;
Uniformity of elements of design;
Uniformity of navigation;
Tradeoffs between structure and function;
Regularity v. conspicuousness of design;
Common ground with paper publications?
New medium calling for avant garde design style?

Part 3: Document markup.
Content v. form;
SGML, HTML, (La)TeX, DTP and WP;
From content to form: the easy direction;
From form to content: usually impossible;
Adding presentation characteristics;
Cascading style sheets;
Uniformity across classes of documents;
General layout;
Fonts, colors, text properties;
Dynamic documents;
CGI scripts;
Graphic interfaces;
Use of standards v. use of proprietary extensions;
Presentation for databases;
Databases as content/structure repositories;
Generating multiple instantiations of a document.

Part 4: Standards and their inter-relationships.
HTML as instantiation of SGML;
HTML validation;
The importance of the DOCTYPE directive;
The mistakes of TeX;
A purist approach to TeX markup;
LaTeX: avoiding or compounding the felony?
PDF as low-level markup;
From <whatever> to PDF;
PDF and the web;
Interactive documents.

Part 5: Recent developments.
e-TeX: a 100%-compatible TeX derivative;
pdfTeX: bring together two fundamental paradigms;
Omega: a TeX-like system for the Unicode world;
ATML: TeX markup without the tears;
NTS: Not Tomorrow, but Soon.