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LaTeX can output to fluid-format document types (e.g., ePub), and there are tools that will convert between numerous output formats (pandoc).

Even if you're looking at mobile displays, there's a finite set, and those can either be punted or targeted precisely at the 4", 5", 6", 8", and 10" device sizes which are most common.

Using an e-ink device, I'd really prefer more Web content were paginated. I tend to rely on the EinkBro web browser for anything over a page or two in length simply because I can page through that rather than deal with the fussiness of scrolling.

Once you reach a sufficiently large display, physical pragmatics come to the fore. We've settled on books that are mostly 8--14" or so diagonal measure because that's what's convenient to hold and read. There are smaller and larger exceptions (pocketbooks and other miniatures, coffee-table books and atlases), but those are 1) less convenient and 2) clear compromises between format, material, ease of reading, and other factors.

For a sufficiently-large desktop display, a standard quarto/folio print format displayed 2-up is usually preferable. Scaling from that or presenting 1-up is really the desktop / window manager's problem.

It cannot do any of that. My research has long summations and they have to be broken manually to multi-lines. Tables are a mess. Spacing between paragraphs is a hit-or-miss. Figures again need to be hardcoded, tailored to the target output.

If your standard is to just throw information with random formatting on a screen that ultimately cannot be read, then yes latex can do that for you.

But if that is your goal, pure html suffices.

Yeah ebooks made from Latex look horrible to me. Worse then HTML documents. But it is ok for preferences to differ.

The stock styling of LaTeX's article or book document types is sufficient. I read them often. The point being that that is a starting point but not the full extent of LaTeX formatting and presentation. This objection is about as valid as dismissing HTML on the basis of the default element styling characteristics.

LaTeX-produced documents can be extensively styled, that's handled via a stylesheet.

Rappaport's Philosophy of Computer Science is one book I'm aware of created via LaTeX. It's quite readable:


I'm trying to remember which book it was that I'd encountered published as LaTeX source which I had to comile myself. I can only say that it was quite elegant.

There are numerous alternative templates for books available elsewhere, e.g.:


"e.g., ePub"

So, at the end you are going to serve html at the browser.

You can do that with web1

The assertion was that there is too great a diversity of device sizes for a LaTeX-based document standard to work, with the strong implication being that a fixed-size PDF is the only output option for LaTeX.

Both sides of that fail.

You're now shifting the goalposts.

Yes, ePub is based on HTML. It is also contained, standardised, and structured (not dissimilarly to how LaTeX itself is based on Tex but with standards and structure). It's also not the only fluid document standard, though the other I'm significanlty aware of (mobi in particular) are effectively proprietary.

ePub exists and is good enough.

It has some issues of its own, including an overly-strong foundation in HTML which could well lead it to many of the same issues plagueing the Web. In practice, to date, it's largely avoided those pitfalls.

But again, that's really not what the question I was answering was about. Rather it was in targeting multiple sizes of devices. And I think I somewhat addressed that.

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