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Subject: Re: [docbook] Loss of faith -- somewhat rantish

On Sat, Jul 12, 2003 at 06:13:03AM -0400, Daniel Veillard wrote:

> > Again, sorry for the rant,
> If you can't understand the framework, then don't. You don't have to learn

Daniel, at the risk of irritating you, this is simply not true at this
current time with available free software tools. I say this from personal experience.

Perhaps Scot could buy some closed-source tool to handle it all. But
don't we want a nice free software solution ?

It seems nobody has really answered Scot's complaint here.

Scot, the XML stuff, and the available free tools currently, *are* hard
to use. The relevant syntax *is* obscure, and the multitude of related
standards is confusing. But the question you should ask yourself is
this: "Would things be better without using the current standard stuff
such as XML and XSLT etc. ?".

I think the answer here is a clear "no". Use of the current technologies
and standards is a *major* benefit for DocBook users. This is simply
because the use of open, well-defined standards incurs all the usual
benefits. All the tools can agree on what format files should be in.
People conversant with the technologies can easily handle all the nasty
details, instead of re-learning them for some "simplified DocBook XMLish"
and associated tools. Standard tools can work with these documents.
Documents can be exchanged in the surety they will be inter-operable.
The information is well-structured and clearly defined. Documents in
these standard formats can be handled in a very flexible and extendible

I think all you are really asking for is more usable tools. I don't
think anybody would deny that the current toolset is relatively immature
in terms of "polish".

Yes, it is unfortunate that users have to come to a basic understanding
of several very complicated standards in order to just do some writing.
But the other choice, that of using some allegedly "simpler" format, has
none of the advantages outlaid above, and few other advantages.

In particular, a decent graphical DocBook editor built on top of the
trickier stuff such as xlstproc would resolve all of your specific


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