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Subject: DocBook activism and suitable editors (Was: XML Editors)

>>>>> Janning Vygen <vygen@gmx.de>:

> Does any XML editor discussion just show us, how difficult it is to
> let an end user edit XML? Doesn't the end user always have to know
> some markup to understand what his editor does?

Yes, and yes.

And as a "DocBook activist" that worries me, because it makes it
harder for me to push DocBook XML as an MSWord replacement for
software documentation.

> I am using XML a lot and i am editing in emacs and its fine. And
> some customers of mine are editing their XML stuff in raw text
> editors too. after teaching XML in half a day they managed it.

True.  But they must be motivated to do so.  I have convinced two
colleagues to do this, and they do it, even though it feels cumbersome
to them, because they believe using DocBook is the right thing to do.

> every wysiwig editor i know has problems. It is not end user 
> compatible OR isnt flexible enough.

Both true.
> But on the other hand: XMLEditors are always compared with Word. But
> how many users can really use word? They can set a font, a font
> size, bold, centering and thats it. Most people use word like an
> enhanced text editor.

Yes.  I'd guess 95% of MSWord users would have been just as happy with
good old MSWrite.

But the people that write software documentation tends to use more
feature than this.

> So i think to edit XML by an end user you need a reduced XML Editor. 

> For docbook it would be fine to have an editor just doing the simple 
> stuff and maybe have a text mode in behind for advanced users. 

A text mode backed by a treeview for navigation, perhaps?

> 90% of all editing from the user perspective is
>  - paragraphs
>  - bold (means emphasis of course)
>  - linking
>  - add a graphic
>  - add a list
>  - tables 

> i would like to have an editor just doing this in a word-like way 
> (with nice buttons and stuff like this) Most users don't really need 
> more. 

Good observations.

(Note BTW, that XXE has much of what you ask for above.  If you're not
bitten by the entity expansion nonfeature, mentioned earlier in the
thread, you might be interested in giving it a look

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