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I have decided to opt for XML DocBook for many of the reasons outlined in
responses.  I believe an SGML DocBook section will still be available (since
I have already
written it ;) ).

Most of the XML tools are written in Java, most students learn Java  (at the
moment anyway)
as their first year language and it is used extensively in many CS courses,
hence the Java hacker
can have a ball. (just a thought)

Observation about portability:   I do not think that the Java tools are
really any more portable
because most systems have a C/C++ compiler so could compile the C/C++ based
tools, maybe
the out-of-the-box compatability would be a be better with the Java tools
however.  Java
is however inherently more secure than C  by design (but this isn't a Java
vs C post so I will stop this now).

Anyway, thanks again for all the support from everyone.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Norman Walsh" <ndw@nwalsh.com>
To: "fyl2xp1" <vnhu38f93@subdimension.com>
Cc: <docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 2:00 PM
Subject: Re: SGML vs XML

> / fyl2xp1 <vnhu38f93@subdimension.com> was heard to say:
> | Advantages:
> |
> | XML is the "wave of the future", we can either ride it or sink?
> | XML is more Internet oriented, the future is more Internet oriented?
> | XML is simpler and perhaps less cumbersome than SGML?
> | XML is easier to write tools for so the future will bring a bounty of
> Certainly far more XML tools exist now and will exist in the future. I
> won't say that "no new SGML tool will ever be written" because someone
> will surely point one out, but I'm confident in saying that the number
> of XML tools being developed vastly overshadows the number of SGML
> tools.
> | XML implements Unicode which is rapidly becoming the new standard?
> It is an I18N standard, I don't think there's any "becoming" about it.
> (That's not the same as saying everyone always uses it, but that's not
> really important. You can use Big5 or Shift-JIS locally and convert to
> Unicode for exchange.)
> | The SGML DocBook will eventually dissappear.
> Well, I doubt it'll disappear in my lifetime. Legacy lasts. But new
> development of the SGML version will probably cease eventually (for
> some value of eventually).
> | Disadvantages:
> |
> | SGML is a maturer technology hence is regarded as better?
> If you stick to the bits of XML that have been proven by 10+ years of
> SGML experience, I don't think this argument holds.
> | The SGML DocBook toolchain is easier to configure and setup?
> That's not my reading of the situation.
> | It is much easier to create printable output using the SGML toolchain?
> The free tools for producing print output are more mature, but that's
> not relevant to SGML vs. XML. You can use XML and still use those
> tools.
> | The XML tools are mostly written in JAVA which is slow?
> And portable. :-)
> | There are tools available to convert SGML to XML anyway so this is no
> Because SGML is dead.
> | The DocBook XML syntax is so similar to the DocBook SGML syntax
> | that conversion would be no bother?
> That's generally true. Tools like sx can convert from SGML to XML. And
> it wouldn't be too hard to convert XML back to SGML either.
>                                         Be seeing you,
>                                           norm
> --
> Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | Decide, v.i. To succumb to the
> http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | preponderance of one set of
> Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | influences over another
>                                    | set.--Ambrose Bierce

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