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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK-APPS: Best tool for DocBook

Hi Dennis,

I almost regret having entered this discussion, since I can't claim to
be knowledgeable on any editor for DocBook other than Emacs, not having
used any other.  I only wanted to point out that although the learning
curve is practically vertical for Emacs, there are benefits.  Perhaps I
misunderstand your points here, but I'd like to offer a brief response:

> I would argue that (2) the Emacs/psgml control key
> functions are stone knives and bear skins compared to the tags-on markup
> modes of XMetal and Epic.

I find keyboard control very useful, and any editor that has it as an
option is better for it--more choice.  I agree that it takes time to
learn the essential key commands, and perhaps Emacs goes a bit overboard
in that direction.  However, I find that once they are internalized they
come automatically, but no matter how easy it is the first time to click
my mouse on a menu item, it takes the same amount of effort each time,
and the necessary motor-control can't internalize to the same degree.  

> I would argue that (1) a good tool doesn't require the user to write a set
> of macros to make it user friendly

I would say that a good tool offers the ability to customize it to suit
the user's needs.  Macros cut my work to less than half, and I don't
think there are any editors available that have, built-in, the specific
functionality that I need.  If other editors have simple, powerful macro
capabilities equal or better than Emacs, that's great.

Finally, I think most people on this list would agree that no matter
which tool we choose (or are stuck with) there is plenty of room for
improvement.  Perhaps this discussion will bear fruit in giving tool
developers an idea of the diverse needs of the DocBook editing



Robert McIlvride (robert@cogent.ca)
Cogent Real-Time Systems (www.cogent.ca)

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