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Subject: Summary 2 for "New to DocBook: XML or SGML, Clark or Open?"
(was "New to DocBook: XML or SGML, Clark or Open?") Hallo DocBookers, This is the second version of the summary of answers to my original question (see the top of the message). Thanks to all who replied. The answers of the persons are included in the next list (sorted alphabetically -- if I did not forget). From the second version of the summary, I have included also some information from other threads. The authors were added to the list. I tried to follow the problems, not the threads. I am planning to accumulate even more answers and then I will try to reduce them to the core. If you know sources with better answers, please, let me know. Adam Di Carlo <firstname.lastname@example.org> David Johnson <email@example.com> Dave Brooks, BCS Systems <firstname.lastname@example.org> Jirka Kosek <email@example.com> Juan R. Migoya <firstname.lastname@example.org> Laurent Pointal <email@example.com> M. Wroth <firstname.lastname@example.org> Norman Walsh <email@example.com> Ramon Casellas <firstname.lastname@example.org> Robert Withrow <email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com <Dirk.Koschuetzki@bonn.shuttle.de> Sequences from my original message are prefixed by > on the left. The answers (presented rather anonymously) may be cut of the context. Feel free to complain ;-) My occasional remarks are placed as [inlines] or separate paragraphs in parenthesis (you will understand, I am sure :) I consider Norman Walsh notices to be exceptional in the sense that some people (including me) -- when undecided -- want to accept his advices. For that purpose, I have marked his notices using inline [NW]. ---------------------------------------------------------------- > Briefly first, more details below in the text: > > - Should I be oriented towards SGML or XML when starting > with DocBook as a total greenhorn? > > [from other thread] Are there any benefits to XML over > SGML when it comes to DocBook? Is it worth my time to > learn Java and fix those XSLT engines, or is it better > spent learning scheme and DSSSL? * I tried XML. For several reasons I remained loyal to SGML. SGML is more oriented to printed documentation than XML, and after all, you work the same way. * XML is future of DocBook, SGML is past. [later] When I said XML is future, its more about tools and usage in the world (look at the quick developement of XML use in the Internet land, relatively to the slow growth of SGML due to its "lourdeur" (cumbersomeness)). * SGML has the advantage of being more flexible in both markup (i.e. the ability to minimize or omit tags -- useful if you're working in a text editor, less so if you're using a good editor. XML has better tool support (especially at the freeware level). Printed documentation tends to move one more toward DSSSL processors for output -- at least as far as I can see. If you use that tool set, SGML or XML is not an issue. If you use an XSL based tool set, that, of course would favor an XML solution. * I have had a great deal understanding the DSSSL [which means orientation to SGML] from Norm Walsh. My advice would be that if you have time to spend learning, the effort will be compensated. I say this when actually I haven't had time enough to make my stylesheet customizations as good as I would like, but I have "real" results and I'm sure I will get at a stable point. * In your situation I'd use SGML [...]. But the choice of XML/SGML at the front end is not likely to be a big deal for you (now), and XML seems to be direction most of the tool development is headed. * I've seen some pretty outrageous typography from the current set of XML DocBook tools (like major widows and orphans), but I'm guessing much of that can be explained by their relative immaturity. [NW...] that depends on your formatter. DocBook is about content, not presentation. * SGML+DocBook(DSSSL)+jade+[jadetex,pdfjadetex] +Makefile+emacs(psgml) is a great, multiplatform toolchain which you can start using this afternoon. * [in reply to the upper the author writes] Surely, XML+DocBook(DSSSL)+jade+[jadetex,pdfjadetex] +Makefile+emacs(psgml) is also great multiplatform toolchain which also runs "out-of-the-box" [...]. My point is that Docbook/XML can be used for markup without having to go down the XLST path, while still leaving XLST as a future option. * Norman Walsh says in Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2001 09:51:00 -0400 From: Norman Walsh <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: DOCBOOK: Okay, why? In-reply-to: <01040519241304.00175@weathertop> To: email@example.com Message-id: <firstname.lastname@example.org> [...] XML is the future. And reports of specific problems, especially with the DocBook XSL stylesheets are always appreciated. * XML may be the future, but I'm living in the present :-) (I think the topic needs further clarification. I have found the article "XML/SGML: On the Web and Behind the Web" at "http://www.sgmltech.com/papers/aatphv1099.htm" which seems to answer some of the questions. Reading that, I would personally incline towards SGML. The question is whether the conclusions make sense for DocBook. What should also be clarified is whether the DocBook's SGML branch is planned to be obsoleted one day or not.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- > - Do I need a unicode capable editor for XML? * You do not need unicode editor. From your domain, I suppouse that you want write docs in the Czech language [good guess ;-)]. In this case, you can start DocBook XML document with line <?xml version="1.0" encoding="windows-1250"?> or <?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-2"?> and then use appropriate single-byte encoding. * [edited...] there is a problem when HTML is generated from XML. The character encoding is not set inside the generated HTML [...] Jade [...] SP_ENCODING=xml. [from reply to the upper notice] This is problem for both SGML and XML sources. You can add following code into your DSSSL customization layer and proper <meta> tag will be included in generated HTML. (define %html-header-tags% '(("META" ("HTTP-EQUIV" "Content-Type") ("CONTENT" "text/html; charset=windows-1250")))) If you use XSL stylesheets (this implies usage of XML DocBook), this meta tag is inserted automatically by XSLT processor. ---------------------------------------------------------------- > - Notice: I am using Windows NT (I have no choice). * Read the tutorial "SGML for Windows NT" on how to set up a free SGML editing and publishing system for Windows NT by Markus Hoenicka: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/hoenicka_markus/ntsgml.html (I did not follow exactly everything from inside, but I found the tutorial really helpful. Is there a similar document for starting with XML?) ---------------------------------------------------------------- > Question on Clark vs. Open > ========================== > > This question is not the basic one for me. I only would like to > know, whether I should prefer Clark's SP and Jade or > OpenSP and OpenJade (and why). Are these projects > developed as competitors? Did Clark ever expressed > his opinion on OpenSP and OpenJade? * Jade works correctly. * I switched to OpenJade some time ago, but I went back to Jade because there was some problems with the stylesheets I hadn't found in Jade. So now I work with Jade. Some times in this list I have read "use Jade" in order to avoid a specific problem, but I'm unable to tell you if in this moment OpenJade is the right choice or not. * I use jade (tried openJade but get into problems - jade has problems too at this time, which has been corrected since, but i haven't re-tried openJade) and DSSSL. I have tried to use the modern XSLT tools, but failed to make one work correctly in a short time (maybe with investigating more...). * OpenJADE is the open source continuation of JADE, started with James' blessing when he became too involved in other projects to continue to update JADE. There is additional functionality in OpenJade, which may or may not be important to you (*I* haven't had any particular need for it, processing DocBook and some homegrown scripts, but YMMMV). On the other hand, I have found the error messages from OpenJADE to be less than informative... which makes a difference, especially when you're trying to learn. [from reply] Running under Linux, OpenJade 1.3 / OpenSP 1.34 gives the correct error messages (ie.the same as Jade), which suggests that the problem is with the Windows build of OpenJade. (This remains open for me, but I do not consider it a big problem.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- > Question on JadeTeX > =================== > > I am thinking about using (La)TeX for generating printable > version of the documentation and also the PostScript > and PDF versions. Is the TeX back-end the usual way > for doing that? * It is usual way, but not the only. Another way to produce printed version is to use XSL stylesheets and some FO processor (e.g. PassiveTeX). This tool-chain is improving very rapidly. * Please check http://www.infres.enst.fr/~casellas/docbook.html and see if it fits your needs. [The alternative conversion tool to LaTeX, probably better for mathematics -- not tested by myself.] * JadeTeX have some serious problems on longer documents. For larger documents I personally generate RTF file by Jade and then use Word and Distiller to get PDF. * The TeX backend attempts to use a TeX macro package to render the output of JADE, resulting in good quality typesetting for the printed documentation. I like that approach in theory, but haven't had much luck with it in practice -- almost everything I print is done with the RTF backend. (The TeX macros are built in LaTeX2e, BTW -- but unless you really want to monkey around with them, you edit in the SGML/XML and treat TeX as a black box. Your previous LaTeX experience will probably help in getting everything going, though.) * [NW] For fine typography, I'd go with PassiveTeX (XSL) or JadeTeX (DSSSL) and let TeX do the hard work. (Notice: there is LaTeX3 project oriented towards SGML/DSSSL http://www.latex-project.org/guides/ltx3info/ltx3info.html) (Can anybody else confirm such problems with JadeTeX? I want to use it -- what should I expect when compared with usual LaTeX styles?) ================================================================ Notice on an editor: I do use (also for other purposes) the JED editor (http://space.mit.edu/~davis/jed/") which emulates emacs. It does not use lisp as internal language but it also has support for LaTeX, HTML, and SGML for DocBook (some bugs as the DocBook support is very young, but promissing ;-). ---------------------------------------------------------------- Notice on a project C++ source documentation: As I have noticed also some remark about literate programming... "I'll make the side plug that you might consider using something like Nuweb / LaTex in a literate programming environment if you're documenting code. Unfortunately, I know of no stable SGML/XML literate programming tools, although they should in principle be straightforward." I should mention that I do use Doxygen (http://www.doxygen.org/) which produces HTML, LaTeX, RTF and other formats. (I think that it can be considered a tool for literate-like programming with some differences. It uses more code-centered approach where the text is added to the programming language comments.) It uses Graphviz (http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/graphviz/) for generating inheritance diagrams, etc. The results are appreciated well by the users. What may be interesting for SGML/XML supporters is that there is some interest in using XML (SGML?) in the Doxygen comunity. I think that the Doxygen developers would appreciate more help from SGML/XML experts (you should know that you will not be paid by money for that ;-) That's all for now, Petr -- Petr Prikryl, SKIL, spol. s r.o., email@example.com --- Odchozí zpráva neobsahuje viry. Zkontrolováno antivirovým systémem AVG (http://www.grisoft.cz). Verze: 6.0.237 / Virová báze: 115 - datum vydání: 7.3.2001
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