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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK-APPS: best tool for docbook?

>> But they need at least approximation of visual appearance during editing. They aren't able edit text without some level of WYSIWYG.
I agree with the statement but not sentiment.

Don't the vast majority of users who author content want an easy life when it comes their editor? Why should they do battle with their editor (remembering Emacs keystrokes, Docbook syntax, symantics & structure, constantly customising stylesheets & upgrading their toolchains for example) when all they really want to concentrate on is the content of the document they're authoring?

I remember my growing pains when I first started using Docbook & XML. I constantly see clients in the field who would benefit from using Docbook but I don't recommend it to them because I know what a headache I'd get supporting them.

Don't get me wrong. The current open-source solutions are great. They do the job and there's an army of motivated users, experts & developers work on improvements all the time (how many commercial software vendors can say the same for their software?) but in my opinion there is a vast market out there for some sort of GUI tool to aid the content authors.

To me, that tool would be a mixture of a Plain Text Editor (Emacs, Notepad, whatever), the Delphi/Kylix Code Editor (colour coded tags, code-completion etc.) and XMetal (for their XML support and XML tag Context support). Features like drag & drop would help and also a dedicated Docbook parsing & compiling engine that works straight off the shelf and supporting all the usual formats - RTF/DOC, HTML (chunked & unchunked), PDF.


Martin Gautier
Technology Consultant
Myrnham Associates
Ph: 0709 2234 228
Fax: 0702 0967 322
email: martin.gautier@myrnham.co.uk
Web: http://www.myrnham.co.uk/

Jirka Kosek <jirka@kosek.cz>

23/08/01 15:00

        To:        "docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org" <docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org>
        Subject:        Re: DOCBOOK-APPS: best tool for docbook?

Holger Rauch wrote:

Hi Holger,

> Ok, but why do you think WYSIWYG XML editors are a tool for masses? Since
> there is no *real* WYSIWYG in the XML world, why care about it? To be
> honest, I don't really see why Emacs+PSGML could not be used by a wider
> audience. Ok, a sysadmin should provide the right ".emacs" (or

In theory it could, and in theory everyone can use TeX instead of MS
Word. For me Emacs is cool tool, but many people which are now start
using DocBook previously used applications like MS Word. Learning
"philosophy" behind XML and DocBook for them is far enough. They are
usually able to start authoring DocBook documents in something like
XMetaL or Epic quite quickly, if you show them benefits of structured
markup and information reuse. But they need at least approximation of
visual appearance during editing. They aren't able edit text without
some level of WYSIWYG. Don't ask me why, it is reality. For me it is
better to enter plain text or markup and left formatting to final stage
of document preparation. But most people aren't able to do this. This is
(for me sad) reality. We (Emacs, TeX, ... users) must reconcile with


 Jirka Kosek                                        
 e-mail: jirka@kosek.cz

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