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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Docbook toolchain tips

I used EMACS for quite a while, and still use it when there is more text
editing going on than manipulating markup; the macro capability and
general text manipulation is superb. However, many people find the
learning curve pretty steep. 

I have recently increasingly been using oXygen
(http://www.oxygenxml.com/) for most of the XML editing (and HTML; it
makes a surprisingly good editor for quick HTML projects).  The content
completion is excellent and it provides a rich set of validation tools.
I particularly like the fact that it is Java based with implementations
for Windows, Linux, and the Macintosh, so I can use it wherever the work
has to be done.

Many people in our organization use Epic
(http://www.arbortext.com/html/epic_editor_overview.html) , because of
the semi-WYSIWYG presentation it provides.  Since I do much of my
production work on Linux, it doesn't work out for me.  It also puts some
constraints on where you can put XML comments in the files.  Personally,
providing formatting while I am editing is not a big selling point to
me, since I produce content that is rendered into PDF and multiple HTML
formats, so instead of WYSIWYG, I find it is "What You See Is a Lie;" I
consider the markup itself to be WYSIWYG in a semantic markup language
like DocBook.

Some parts of my organization have also standardized on XML Spy
(http://www.altova.com/) and XMetal (http://www.xmetal.com/index.x) but
I have little experience with either of them.

I have found that editor choice is very personal and in a past career as
a Human Factors engineer, became convinced that allowing individuals to
choose their own editing solutions makes for a more productive and happy
environment.  Many of the features that make one person thrilled with an
editor are irritants to others.

Larry Rowland

On Sat, 2006-05-06 at 10:17 +0200, Luciano Scavizzi wrote:
> I am pushing my company to adopt Docbook as a "documentation
> standard", but, of course, my (questionable) personal charme is not a
> point good enough  to convince my colleagues and our senior
> management.
> As speaking of semantics precision and separation of content from
> format is not that a involving subject, the basic point I am making
> out is the advantage of single-source documents.
> On the other hand, I usually write my XML docs with a plain text
> editor, I do not think many employees of ours are confident with
> markup languages and would switch happily from MS Word to inputing
> tagged text in an editor. I wonder if you can suggest some esy-to-use
> authoring tool (I've already tried Sydoc) for Win32.
> Furthermore, as a FO formatter, I am realizing FOP, while being more
> than enough form my personal use, is far from flawless.
> I have tested XSL Formatter and XEP, and I must say I like very much
> the former for its speed and its neat output (I also understood it has
> a very good standard compliance). I have also found on the web many
> more tools I haven't tested yet, and I could not find any
> comprehensive fo-support comparison chart, but one at
> http://www.antennahouse.com/xslfo/comparison-fo.htm. Which of the
> processors around are worth a try in your opinion?
> My minimum requirements are good SVG support and a "predictable"
> behavior (i.e. adhere quite strictly to w3c recommendations).
> Thanks,
> Luciano
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