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Subject: RE: [docbook-apps] Show off what you've done with Docbook


I've been giving this some thought, and what had become evident to me is that I have no problem at all with the Docbook language.

After all, you can either learn to code it by hand, or use an editor like Oxygen. Either way, you do need to know the possibilities of the language, to know the best way to mark-up your document, but that's not really a problem.

There are 2 problems that I suspect for many make the difference between using the product and not:

1. The complexity of setting up an environment: Download stylesheets, download toolchain (which includes numerous choices), create a directory structure for your own document.

2. The complexity of customizing the default look of the documents, which look OK, but don't look as good as they would need to be to be put in front of a client.

There clearly was, and still remains a need for Docbook. If you are supporting a technical project, the language itself meets most, if not all of your requirements outside the box.

But when I see the examples that have been provided as a result of the original question, I see documents that range from amazing to pretty ordinary. This not only shows the strength of the platform, but also the weakness.

As a Docbook user, and advocate, the amazing documents antagonize me the most, because I'm not sure I have the time and the will to understand how they were created.

The question remains unanswered, having learned the Docbook language, why should somebody then have to face a much greater challenge to produce a document that looks presentable?

Does anybody sell a commercial Docbook customization layer? If this was Joomla, or Wordpress, or MediaWiki there would be a whole marketplace of free and commercial presentation layers.

Is Docbook really that obscure?


-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Schraitle [mailto:tom_schr@web.de] 
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2015 5:39 AM
To: docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Show off what you've done with Docbook

Hi Gerhard,

Am Samstag, 12. September 2015, 11:35:11 schrieb Gerard Nicol:
> I'm surprised nobody has put together a Linux VM image with Git and 
> Docbook etc.

Shouldn't be too difficult. ;)

> I'd happily pay a few thousand a year for a subscription to a hosted 
> or packaged Docbook environment if the results looked as good as some 
> of the better examples provided.

You can look at some of our examples which we created by our DAPS toolchain, here PDF:

* http://opensuse.github.io/daps/doc/pdf/art.daps.quick_color_en.pdf

Of course, it is a customization layer on top of the original DocBook XSL 
stylesheets. :-) Meanwhile they are quite complicated now.

The stylesheets are released in GitHub: https://github.com/openSUSE/suse-xsl

  Thomas Schraitle

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