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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Pros and cons DocBook vs Word2003


Main argument on why using DocBook instead of Word is freedom. Problem
is that freedom is hard to evaluate in terms of money, which is
generally the only argument for decision-makers...

This is not directly related but you can read
or any text related to the open-source philosophy.

You may also ask your question on the xml-doc@yahoogroups.com list.


Le ven 14/11/2003 à 11:28, Kenneth Johansson a écrit :
> Hi,
> Our organization is migrating from Word to XML. I've suggested DocBook and
> XXE (XMLmind XML Editor). We have been testing DocBook and XXE for some time
> and our test persons are beginning to get used to XXE. The output to PDF and
> HTML Help is beginning to look nice. However, since Word 2003 has been
> released I'm beginning to meet some resistance in using DocBook and XXE. I
> need some help to shoot their arguments to pieces, which I might be able to
> do if any of you can provide me with good answers to my questions.
> * Images and vector graphics. 
> We're using Word to produce Visio-like graphics, flowcharts, software
> design, network overviews etc. Since we don't like to pay any more licens
> fees than necessary we'd like to stick with M$ Office which we'd need
> anyway. PowerPoint is capable of saving files in .wmf (Windows Metafile)
> which can be converted to svg/jpeg using "libwmf". Is there a better
> solution?
> I'd like to create a "one mouse-click solution" in XXE, e.g. click on the
> image and the appropriate editor opens, e.g. PowerPoint. Afaik the XSL tools
> can't automatically handle wmf-files which makes it necessary for a
> conversion to svg or jpeg before processing the xml. Best way would be to be
> able to insert and show a .wmf file in XXE and make a conversion to
> svg/jpeg. I've sent a question to XMLMind list.
> * How is WordML compared to DocBook XML? 
> >From what I've seen WML is very messy, containing formatting, images etc.
> DocBook schema and Word 2003 isn't very pretty either, from a writers point
> of view. I've heard WML isn't very hiearchical. Would this be a problem as
> well?
> Is it possible to use WML, get a cleaner xml (save options?) and ship it to
> translation without the tranlator going bananas over the horrible xml?
> If a messy WML is used will cvs join and cvs diffs (tracability) be a
> problem?
> * Modular files DocBook vs Word 2003
> It is possible to use a modular structure in Word as well as in DocBook.
> What does DocBook do better which Word can't?
> * Cross-links
> Is it possible to create live cross-links in Word which if used online e.g.
> opens another PDF-file?
> * How hard is it to create a DTD/schema for Word 2003?
> My arguments in favor of DocBook:
> One of my strongest arguments is that writers no longer need to meddle with
> layout since working with xml, css and a dtd provides structure and layout
> for you. Another strong argument is that by using a dtd a writer is
> constrained to use what ever elements available in the dtd. 
> * Pretty XML which can be used to produce many outputs (Word can do that as
> well but with slightly less control of the output.)
> * Parts of the XML can easily be reused in other documents, e.g. We have a
> E-learning project which uses flash and xml. It's possible to import parts
> of the existing documentation into the E-learning application with a small
> amount of programming. (Can Word provide a similar easy to use xml source?)
> * Easy to manage in cvs. 
> * Creates PDF's with bookmarks. (Our current Adobe batch PDF-writer can't
> produce PDF's with bookmarks!)
> * Easy to include in build environment. (Hmm, we have a build env for our
> PDF files and a trial env for Word -> HTML Help)
> * Entities. Big advantage in DocBook. Makes it possible to easily change
> content on-the-fly for new releases, automatic branding for partners etc.
> (Can you do this using scripts in Word? )
> * Layout is difficult to manage in Word.
> * Word templates are big source of bugs, e.g. Toc, numbering and style
> problems appear from time to time. Also templates can be overridden (often
> by mistake) by users since they are not centralized and only constraining to
> a point.
> Arguments against DocBook and XXE
> * Word is a standard and all our users are familliar with it.
> * Built in grammar and spell checking support for many languages.
> Do you have any ideas/arguments that might convince my co-workers to use
> DocBook/XXE instead of Word 2003? 
> Sorry for my long post.
> Thanks for your help!
> /Kenneth
> --------------------------------------------------------
> Kenneth Johansson	Technical Documentation Manager
> Sectra Imtec AB
> Teknikringen 20		E-mail: ke-joh AT sectra DOT se
> SE-583 30 Linköping	Phone:	+46 13 23 52 00
> SWEDEN			Web:	http://www.sectra.se
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