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Subject: DOCBOOK-APPS: RE: AW: DOCBOOK: docbook suitable for book - creation ?

Hi Kevin.
It took me about a week to learn to use Quark Express and I suppose the
same would have been true for Framemaker. A week for me as a student
writing my diploma thesis certainly means more than 40 hours. And no
money for that :-( This would not make me an expert, but ceratainly
enable me to produce something nice (our student paper in the case of

Concerning DocBook: My personal opinion is, that you can create a
document in different formats very quickly, provided you have a good
tutorial like the one from sagehill.net. The quality will be sufficient
for open source projects, but noting I would expect a customer to
acceppt and pay big bucks for. And my prof. is expecting us to improve

A big problem is that FOP is still such an early version. I adapt my
style and can transform my documents. Then I get a large document from a
friend and FOP starts and ends at page 10 with 'null'. I then call him
and ask him his borders and it turns out that he has a left margin of
3cm and I of 4. After changing that I can do the transformation but the
idea was that all documents look alike. Now I am trying to get him to
remove some footnotes, which he uses in great numbers, which will lessen
this problem.

So, is it perfect? No. Certainly not. Do I prefer it to MS Word?
Personally, yes I do. But I could not persuade my girl friend yet to
switch too, because it lacks ease of use. 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: KMcLauchlan [mailto:kevinmcl@magma.ca] 
> Sent: Sonntag, 17. November 2002 20:03
> To: docbook@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: Re: AW: DOCBOOK: docbook suitable for book - creation ?
> On Sun, 17 Nov 2002 20:33:25 +0100
> "Stephan Wiesner" <stephan@stephan-wiesner.de> wrote:
> > Framemaker can import DocBook. So you could write it in 
> DocBook and do 
> > the final layout with that. You would probably need a week to learn 
> > how to use Framemaker, though. Just another idea we were playing 
> > around with.
> I'm curious...
> When somebody suggests that it would take "a week 
> to learn" FrameMaker, LaTex, DocBook... whatever, 
> do they usually mean:
> a) a week of 8-hour workdays (i.e., actually five 
>    or six working days) while spending the majority 
>    of your time doing other stuff, like 
>     -- your research
>     -- your job, for which your employer is actually 
>        paying you?
> b) a week of 8-hour workdays, in which you spend 
>    every minute of that 40+ hours reading and trying 
>    and re-trying to get (whichever) software to do 
>    what you need it to do?
> c) a "week" of 24-hour days (168 hours), perhaps 
>    actually interspersed with "a life", and therefore
>    taking a tad longer in sidereal time?
> I feel like a real dummy, that it took me several 
> weeks to learn FrameMaker, although I was producing 
> useful documents with it within a couple of days 
> of starting my job. It was only as I had more time 
> with it, and more interaction (mailing list) with 
> advanced users that I learned how badly I'd done 
> the first few docs, and how much re-work was 
> needed so that they would be smoothly and efficiently 
> repeatable, expandable, re-usable in future.
> That's not to say that the first docs were ugly 
> to look at, in final form, but the hidden stuff 
> was not something I'd want to see today.
> Every time I turn around, somebody is making 
> different claims for DocBook (and whether the 
> pure-and-godly way to do it is DSSSL or XSL, 
> or... whatever the other choices are).  One 
> minute I'me hearing that I could fire up 
> OpenJade and have finished product in half 
> an hour, and the next minute, I'm being told 
> that...  well, no, actually, that would only 
> give me an output file that I'd then have 
> to bring into some other system to produce 
> actual human-usable printouts, or cross-
> referenced and hot-linked PDFs, etc. 
> One minute, its the perfect solution for 
> the single, busy writer in a small company, 
> and the next it's "oh no, I wouldn't take 
> that on unless I had a department of people, 
> including one or two who could dedicate 
> themselves full-time to DTD creation..."
> So, what's the poop?  If I am producing quite 
> acceptable and timely output in (say) Frame, 
> BUT am moving to a platform where Frame is not 
> available, yet still need to produce docs that 
> are laid out to the company/marketing-dept. standards,
> AND keep meeting deadlines that are getting closer 
> and closer together every month...  is DocBook 
> (and OpenJade, or fill-in-your-favorite-solution) 
> the ideal solution for me?
> /kevin

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