Form and content in electronic publishing
Electronic publishers can be simply but plausibly divided into 'stylists' and 'structuralists'. Structured document formatting systems are used widely. Implicitly, they present a particular and potentially attractive view of documents, where form and content are divorced. This view also suggests that authors simply write, while the formatting software does the work of rendering he structured text into a suitable visual form.
This paper informally examines some of the forces which encouraged the development of such systems (in particular TeX/LaTeX), and of such a view. Examples are cited which contest the view that form and content can be separated completely, and which suggest that the world of documents and formatting is altogether more demanding.