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TeX-free LaTeX, an overview

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TeX-free LaTeX, an overview
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As some of you will be aware, and all should be, LATEX code, possibly with some variations, extensions or simplifications, has for a long time been used, raw and unprocessed, as a lingua franca for communicating mathematics via text files in computers. [I have even seen it used on napkins and coffee tables.] This led to a proliferation of LATEX-like input systems for mathematical information and this in turn produced a reluctance by users of maths notation to adopt any other type of input. However, much of this math input is not intended (primarily) to ever be input to a TEX machine (It may get swallowed by a TEX-like system after, for example, some copypaste actions). More recently, systems are being developed to produce whole LATEXencoded documents that are to be processed by systems such as OMDoc or LATEXML and so will not necessarily ever pass through a TEX-like engine. Sytems such as PlasTEX also belong in this category, despite using TEX as a helper utility in their implementation.