[svlug] DocBook XML Opinion?

David N. Welton davidw at dedasys.com
Tue Aug 5 06:35:32 PDT 2003


Craig Oda <craigoda at yahoo.com> writes:

> Now, it appears that everyone is using DocBook.  Or, are they?  I
> know nothing about DocBook.  Please help.

The real difference is that DocBook is very 'forward
compatible'. Since you are really describing the contents, you can
always create a new filter to transform it into some other format.
Since you have all the information about your document, you could also
change your mind about the display, and not have to rework everything
("I want all my functions to have a blue backround and blinking red
text!").

> I liked LaTeX because as Knuth would say, the primary goal was to
> produce "beautiful documents."  I believe that this goal gave a
> personality to the documentation system, something I found quite
> elegant and pleasing to work with.

Yes, it does indeed have beautiful output.

> I would prefer control over the look of the document.  My initial
> look into DocBook printed output leads me to think that they aren't
> that beautiful.  I've tried StarOffice and I don't like it.  Seems
> to have no advantage over something like MS Word, IMO.

Don't know as much about printing docbook stuff, but there is code out
there to do it, and you can probably tweak the stylesheets to your
heart's content.

> Or, before I start on this, is there a better system to consider?

I've been very happy with DocBook for my free software documentation:

http://tcl.apache.org/rivet/html/

Hope that helps,
-- 
David N. Welton
   Consulting: http://www.dedasys.com/
     Personal: http://www.dedasys.com/davidw/
Free Software: http://www.dedasys.com/freesoftware/
   Apache Tcl: http://tcl.apache.org/




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