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Subject: RE: [docbook-apps] oXygen 9 beta with WYSIWYG-like editing support for DocBook

When I customized XMetaL for our use, at first I added B, I, and U
buttons for the corresponding generic DocBook emphasis/@role
combinations but soon removed them because I didn't want to encourage
their use over more appropriate inline elements, especially by new hires
or offshore writers that we couldn't work as closely with. The shift
from unstructured DTP to semantic markup is hard enough for writers to
get without mudding the waters with bold and italic buttons. I think the
model to follow here is XXE, which uses "dropdown buttons" which provide
menus of items with that formatting. For example, the "italicized a"
menu button has emphasis, firstterm, citetitle, replaceable, etc. Of
course you then have to change the menus to match your customizations in
inline.xsl, but I think the menu button approach effectively tells the
user "If you want to make this bold, you need to pick the appropriate
semantic element that maps to bold presentation in your environment." So
instead of an orderedlist button, there should be a dropdown menu button
that lets them pick orderedlist or procedure (XXE doesn't actually do
that one but should).


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Pawson [mailto:davep@dpawson.co.uk] 
> Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2007 8:32 AM
> To: elharo@metalab.unc.edu
> Cc: DocBook Apps Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] oXygen 9 beta with WYSIWYG-like 
> editing support for DocBook
> Elliotte Harold wrote:
> > Dave Pawson wrote:
> > 
> >> If you want tags on semantic editing, fine. Use oXygen in 
> that mode.
> >> Some users want an alternative non-tagged view, for their 
> own reasons.
> >> Please don't knock them for that, they've as much right to use the 
> >> editor in their way as you have.
> > I am arguing that the *user interface for input* should be based on 
> > applying semantics rather than applying styles. That is, I 
> do not want 
> > the buttons to say "Make this bold" or "make this italic". 
> Instead I 
> > want them to indicate "Emphasize this" or "Foreign word".
> Why? If the target user is not 'tags aware' then why make 
> another hurdle for them to jump?
> > 
> > If the marked up text then appears on the screen as bold or 
> italic or 
> > whatever, that's fine. No one has to look at the tags.
> Yet you'd have them think about the styling step when it's 
> not necessary? For some users, big and bold and centred is meaningful.
> section/title is not.
> > 
> > I also suspect it would help to have a convenient way of 
> editing the 
> > styles so one can tell the app things like, "please make citations 
> > quoted, not italicized".
> See Georges later post.
> That's the level of flexibility we are getting towards. A 
> word like view, with docbook output.
> > 
> > However we're never going to get there if we just try to 
> copy Word. We 
> > don't need to make the interface good for Word users.
> I'd beg to differ there. Weaning a user off word towards 
> semantic markup is 95% a people issue. The more we can do to 
> help them make that step the better IMHO.
> regards
> --
> Dave Pawson
> XSLT, XSL-FO and Docbook FAQ
> http://www.dpawson.co.uk
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