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Subject: Re: [docbook] An apology and some minor revelations

On Sat, Jul 12, 2003 at 10:00:42PM +0200, Scot W. Stevenson wrote:
> First, I have been thinking of DocBook too much in terms of a LaTeX-like 
> system, where there is an actual program (well, link) with the same name 
> that (for the casual user) did all the magic to get from the source file to 
> the finished DVI. The idea that DocBook is "only" a language, not a system, 
> and that the "other stuff" are add-ons that must be considered independently 
> still seems a very, very strange way to do things, but does come sort as a 
> revelation.

  Well, in perspective, we should try to build docbook tools as a "system"
precisely, so thing like transition from SGML to XML, or the evolution of
XML and associated tools are as transparent as possible for end-users. The
problem in my opinion is that it would take a level of effort larger than
just a few wrappers around generic tools. Maybe I'm wrong, but without 
some integrated (and hence synchronized) editing/checking/tranformation
tools the end-users will have to learn about the processing and specs 
involved in some ways.

> I'm glad John came out and actually said (more clearly than I could) what I 
> was feeling about the complexity of the tools involved, and I can see his 
> logic of using standard tools, even if they seem (to me at least) somewhat 
> overkill for the task involved. I'll also take heart in Dave's description 

  Hum, no, the standard tools are actually the lowest level of tools you
can get, I disagree with your viewpoint there.

> I still can't find a docbook.xsl (and I don't seem to have a "locate" command 
> on this system). If it is any comfort to Daniel, this is a SuSE 8.2 setup 
> I'm having trouble with. It seems that they replaced jade by openjade and 
> quite a few loose threads remain; and yes, I've logged an error report.

  No comfort, work on DocBook processing tools have been ongoing for years
and is likely to continue, it's an evolution process, maybe you just didn't
had the resources installed, maybe your version don't have some part available,
it's independant of the system, a Windows user could have had the same
problems as yours too. To me it's a direct consequence of not having docbook
tools available as a system but as a collection of resources. It make sense
for a lot of installation to just rely on components, but from an end-user
perspective, it makes the use sometime challenging. A lot of the FAQ entries
are not about pure DocBook issues but about tools, installation, integration
and making sure that the chain works. Integration can be done to some extend
by the people creating the Operating System but to be really integrated
and getting simple for the end-user this would require a more synchronization
at the DocBook group level, which so far defines it only as a language and
not as a system (I'm not saying it the way thing should be done, but it
would be one way to make it simpler).


Daniel Veillard      | Red Hat Network https://rhn.redhat.com/
veillard@redhat.com  | libxml GNOME XML XSLT toolkit  http://xmlsoft.org/
http://veillard.com/ | Rpmfind RPM search engine http://rpmfind.net/

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