[PYTHON DOC-SIG] Re: [PYTHON MATRIX-SIG] Alpha release of new tutorial for 1.0a5

David Ascher da@maigret.cog.brown.edu
Wed, 23 Oct 1996 13:21:12 -0400 (EDT)

In my announcement of the alpha tutorial for the numeric extension, I

>  > And there are HTML, DVI, TeX, Info, Text and PS versions (TIM is
>  > pretty cool really!).

Which prompted Geoffrey Furnish to ask in email:
> BTW, what is TIM?  Can you give me a brief low-down on it?  Can it do
> math like tex/latex?

TIM is a tool developed by Bill Janssen as part of the ILU project at
Xerox PARC, but independent of ILU.  Some documentation can be found at:


The key sentence is:

  TIM is essentially a superset of the GNU texinfo language, version
  2.  It adds several features to allow more precise discrimination of
  semantics when documenting software systems. You should be familiar
  with the basic texinfo system first.

I am still a novice at it, so I'm not sure about it possibilities.  I
suspect that one can insert TeX commands in it, and they'll come out
fine in the TeX mode.  I suspect also that they won't come out at all in
HTML mode.  

I chose it because it seemed reasonable.  I'm probably using very few
features of TIM which aren't part of Texinfo.  I also thought that
since we're looking for a common documentation format, this could be
somewhat of a test for TIM.

For most of the python modules, I think TIM would be good enough.
For the scientific extensions which are bound to arrive in droves =),
it'd be nice to have one which allowed math like LaTeX, but also
allowed it to be displayed in HTML form.  This makes me think that an
interface between a markup language like TIM's and a system like
Ka-Ping Yee's system would be nice.  It's a big project though, and one
I'm not volunteering for.

Thoughts anyone?


[I'm sending this to matrix-sig, doc-sig and Bill Janssen and Ping
since they all seem relevant.  Maybe followups should just go to

PS: One of the reasons I like TIM is that it seems it shouldn't be too
    hard to do a reasonable TIM->SGML conversion someday, when the
    tools become available.

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