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

Quoting Kenneth Johansson <ke-joh@sectra.se>:
> 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

That is exactly what my organisation does: DocBook/XML as single
source and CHM and PDF as output.  We use XXE, Emacs/psgml, Emacs/nxml,
and vi as editors.  We migrated from Interleaf/Quicksilver and only
partly from Word.  For many purposes we keep MS-Word, unfortunately.

> * 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?

For diagrams we use the free tool 'dia', which is available for
both Linux/UNIX and Windows.  For CHM we export to PNG, for PDF
are different ways, e.g. output to EPS, optionally transform EPS
into different formats.

> * 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? )

AFAIK, XXE doesn't handle entities in the way you want.  They
are expanded immediately during load of the document.  Better
uses XInclude.

> Do you have any ideas/arguments that might convince my co-workers to use
> DocBook/XXE instead of Word 2003? 

Depends on your environment.  DocBook/XML is invented and
useful for software/computer documentation.  If your
authore are engineers, they will find the semantic mark-up
ideology of DocBook/XML just great.  In my organisation
(software development team of about seventy people), the
documentation team and about twenty software developers use
DocBook/XML since more than one year now and it is a very
successful technique.  MS-Word, never again.

Good luck!

Cheers, WB

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