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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Docbook for industrial usage

I Sabrine,

I routinely localize/translate O'Reilly manuals for the italian market
and to other xml consultancy work for publishers. In the last couple
of year O'Really has changed his workflow from FrameMaker to Docbook
4.5 to go multi-output (print/pdfs/epub+mobi/html) in a standard
compliant way.

An industrial strength (assuming having someone competent in XSLT/FO)
toolchain is:

DB version: 4.5
editing: Oxygen
XSLT: customization layers of stock DB XSLT 1.75.2
FO engine: Antenna House (FOP is not yet ready for industrial quality
print production)

As usual, the monkey wrench in the above toolchain is the authoring
phase: if you need to use Word, _very_ strict styling and macro/xslt
machinery is necessary for going from Word to DB.

In the future I expect more adoption of DB5, but for the time being it
is quite difficult to migrate all the existing XSLT customization
layers (and as the old saying goes: if something works, do not fix

I have the impression most DB adoption is in the technical writing
world (where some background in SGML/Frame exists). In other
publishing sectors (e.g. novels and the like), DB workflows would be
extremely useful (today everyone wants print pdf+epub), but there
exist strong resistances due to old (bad) habits from DTP and the real
world issues of xml first/early toolchains.

This is my experience from the real world.

I am convinced that in the last 8 years a lot indeed has changed!
Simply non that many publishers yet realized this.


On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 11:45 AM, Sabine Cretella <s.cretella@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi, yesterday I talked with Camille on IRC about getting docbook used more
> in industry. I am searching for companies that already use it and that could
> give a good example about what they do with docbook and why they use it. And
> I also got one first contact I am going to write to.
> The reason is: I am originally a translator and did quite some manuals. I am
> just getting back into doing things (after a longer family pause = kids ;-)
> and noted that in almost 8 years nothing has changed: manuals are still
> written with wordprocessors, images are still modified applying texboxes.
> Formats during translation get lost and require a lot of post-editing. All
> this does not happen when the translation is, for example, carried out in
> docbook format. Besides just the layout questions there are also some more
> which are related terminology consistance and the overall quality of a
> manual.
> I hope that by getting together some real good usage examples in industry
> and writing an article about why to use docbook and not a word processor
> (getting this then to companies) we can at least make some more people aware
> of docbook. It would help all of us to do better jobs.
> One side I never did myself, but would like to try out on my own is to
> convert a docbook file to pdf - all I found on the web seems to be rather
> old and from before docbook 5 - is there any new documentation on this? You
> know one thing is having just read it's possible and another is having it
> done at least once. (I am on OpenSuse btw.)
> Thanks for any help :-)
> Cheers, Bina

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