with the Widespread Adoption of Latex?

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With the widespread adoption of LaTeX, Markdown, etc., why do standards bodies continue to write in plain text? Would is not be easier and more aesthetically pleasing to use a PDF, Markdown, etc?

I've worked on several non-IT based technology standards and t are generally authored in MS Word and exported to PDF. I have seen people authoring in Latex and HTML but frankly when you are editing / authoring you may have dozens of different people authoring, and sometimes you are editing live in the meeting WYSIWYG is important so you don't debate the formatting. ASCII / Plaintext is fine enough sometimes but it has its limitations. If you can't illustrate elegantly, easily make/track references and make good tables, then things get complicated and you find yourself limited by your tools. I recall that +5 years ago we spent time complaining about Word, but these days hardly at all.

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So it is up to you to decide what your needs are, but in my experience most people that are authoring these days, and I certainly know this myself, want to write in HTML which is a good trade off at this point in history. So don't be afraid of choosing HTML, because if you want to write a book — there is no better way. I am sorry if this has been offensive, I don't mean to offend anyone, this is just my point. You can email me at and my email is — I'm pretty damn busy as it is. I'll try to respond when I can, but as this is an email list, it is good to think things over before being rash. And since this is an open list, I have some leeway in terms of what I will allow, or not allow for. That.