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Subject: Re: [docbook] Using multiple modules

* Tobias Reif <tobiasreif@pinkjuice.com> [Feb, 08 2004 22:32]:
> Also check
> http://docbook.org/docbook-ng/

Yes, I am fully aware of this version, but it is very much in an alpha
state.  I contemplated using it, but thought it a bit too risky.

> > This remark was mostly made after having spent many hours trying to
> > get various versions of DocBook (SGML and XML) to install and work
> > properly.  Both with the whole catalog business that wasn't really
> > solved in a standard and clean way until recently it seems
> Standardizing the file locations for a certain OS may help in some
> scenarios, but is not absolutely necessary in general. The OASIS XML
> Catalog language is standardized; create one and make it visible to
> your tools (eg via $XML_CATALOG_FILES), should work great.

yes, but I feel that this has only recently been applied successfully
recently, at least in distributions I have come across.  I do not
appreciate the use of environment variables, I do prefer standardized
file locations.  I see the point for environment variables when
standards can't be made or enforced (Windows), but having something that
works for most (at least me, now) is good.

> In case it helps, here's how I do it:
> http://www.pinkjuice.com/howto/vimxml/setup.xml#catalogs

All this is now done automatically when I install DTD's and such for my
distribution (gentoo).

> > and due to bugs in many of the wrapper utilities.
> I recommend using the tools directly, eg from batch or shell scripts.
> Then you are less dependent on wrapper utilities.

Well, I don't feel this way.  I like being able to write
	xmlto xhtml file.xml
I don't like writing
	xmllint --xinclude --postvalid file.xml | xsltproc ...
and so on, and the above doesn't even do error checking.  The tools have
become much better now, and the XML tools are so much better than the
SGML ones, so this I no longer have any issues with.

> > sgmltools-lite has this one bug that makes all catalog lookups fail
> > and since it doesn't seem to be under development anymore it
> > probably won't get fixed (I've fixed it myself after rediscovering
> > it several times after reinstalls of my system).
> DocBook is a language, but here you're talking about tools. (BTW I
> recommend to use DocBook XML and not SGML)

You are missing my point.  I was referring to past experiences, and thus
SGML related software I have used in the past.  SGML is dead (at least
to me) and using XML makes the tools easier to implement and documents
to write in my opinion, and I don't know anyone who disagrees.  And I
don't understand what you mean with the first sentence, I thought more
or less the whole discussion was about the tools that drive DocBook.  I
don't remember saying that DocBook as a markup standard was at fault,
just the tools built around it, and perhaps parts of the technology on
which it relies (DTD).

> > Also, a lot of problems with passivetex, xmltex, and xmlto on my
> > current distribution has really limited my use of DocBook.
> I suggest to send such feedback to the developers of the tools with
> which you experienced problems.

As I stated in the next sentence of the original paragraph that you have
quoted upon (and is in fact included below), these problems have mostly
been resolved now, and I was in fact responsible for getting it done to
a large extent, as I was in desperate need of these tools these previous
two weeks.

> > Anyway, that has finally been fixed and now that the FHS has made
> > SGML and XML catalog and DTD locations standard everything should
> > probably work a lot smoother.
> Until then (and after that too) you can always set up your own system
> in any way you like.

I don't understand this comment, "now" means now, i.e. the present.  It
seems that a lot of stuff has finally been nailed down (this may have
been nailed down before, but not for my distribution in any case) and I
have a working system.  The problem with hacking away, setting up files
and changing stuff in the way you suggest has the inherent problem that
next time I need to reinstall (or try to produce my documents on another
machine for that matter) things won't work anymore and the procedure
must be run yet again.

::: name: Nikolai Weibull    :: aliases: pcp / lone-star / aka :::
::: born: Chicago, IL USA    :: loc atm: Gothenburg, Sweden    :::
::: page: www.pcppopper.org  :: fun atm: gf,lps,ruby,lisp,war3 :::

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