With the separation of document authorship, design, and implementation, is a graphical tool for the end-user within reach?

LyX tries to do this today, but LaTeX2e is not well-designed for such an approach. In essence, this is what LaTeX3 tries to fix: authors must not be concerned with how their document looks in contest with the actual content of their work. While LaTeX2e did successfully separate markup from implementation, it could not cleanly separate the design from its implementation (and everyone and their mother has a word to say about design—this isn't going to change). The layers of LaTeX3 are designed to separate the implementation/coding from the design from the content. The amazing work so far on LaTeX3 is proof enough that many people believe this separation is possible—myself included.

Given this ideal of separation, will it be feasible for there to be environments in which to author and design LaTeX documents in a way that will put the power of LaTeX and expl3 in high demand?

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    I'm worried this looks rather like a discussion topic, and also depends on what the team want to do rather than what they have done. Better suited to LaTeX-L? – Joseph Wright Jan 27 '14 at 16:58
  • @JosephWright Sure thing—I didn't think about that. What the team wants to do probably/realistically won't be static over time :-) I'll send an email out shortly… – Sean Allred Jan 27 '14 at 17:08
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    I would probably want to record my thoughts around that topic - we have similar questions where I have given answers about the ideas that have been developed over time in that space – Frank Mittelbach Jan 28 '14 at 21:27

LaTeX is about contents, not micromanagement of squiggles on paper. In a sense, such an idea goes directly against LaTeX' advantages. A collection of LaTeX advocacy papers in this line is here. I'm against Lyx and such precisely because it's users write horrible source that happens to look nice (Same as MS Office, BTW: the document looks nice, but its internal structure is a complete mess, as nobody looks at that. Good luck doing any restructuring on it!). If you then need to integrate this in something else (make it a chapter in a book, for example) or reformat it to some random journal's taste, you'll be in a world of hurt.

If you want to do graphics layout, other tools are a better fit.

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    I don't agree with the intro. It is those micromanagers that separates boys from men. Otherwise MS Word is pretty if you don't mind those kerning, linespread, justification etc. – percusse Feb 1 '14 at 0:50
  • I'm also pretty strongly against LyX (and have been since I started using LaTeX directly around 2011), but that's not what the idea is about. Authors shouldn't be concerned even with the implementation of the semantics -- just the semantics themselves. There is no need to see, say, \AlgorithmName as part of the running text. This information should certainly exist and be easily accessible, but part of the running text? I'm not so sure. – Sean Allred Jun 4 '15 at 21:06

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