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Subject: DocBook - a success story?


I have now worked a "bit" with DocBook. The goal of my internal
project was to have my CV in as many formats as possible. I assume
that many of you would choose OpenOffice for this task since it offers
a lot of "export" filters. However, working with OpenOffice is nothing
for me. It simply drives me crazy :-)

So I used DocBook.

Here's a summary of my experience:
1. DocBook is fine to eventually create PDF. I used dblatex which made
it easy for me to customize the look and feel of the final document
(via providing my own 'vitae' style).

2. DocBook is probably also fine to create (X)HTML. I did not give it
a try cause I consider generating HTML obsolete cause most web content
is generated nowadays by using some simle markup languages

3. Rendering my CV as man page would have been fun but it did not work
cause I'm using the "wrong" docbook format (i.e. "article"). There a
lot of tools which claim to render a DocBook source into a man page.
They all only render a subset of DocBook only ..

4. I wrote my own "DocBook to Plain text" XSLT stylesheet in a couple
of hours work.

5. Then I tried to import DocBook into OpenOffice. A complete disaster.

6. Meanwhile I wrote an article in Wikipedia. DocBook to Wikipedia
(Markup) went fine by changing my "plain text" XSLT sheet. However,
the other way round (which I consider equally important) cause me many
problems and is not sufficiently solved by now.

7. When I updated my CV I run into the problem that I got lost in all
those xml-tags everywhere. Well, this is the old XML problem anyway..
Then I discovered Asciidoc with a simple while effective markup
language. There is also an export function to DocBook (4.x).

So my chain is

                                                  |=====> PDF
      Asciidoc ==> DocBook ===|
                                                  |=====> TEXT

That's, eh .. 4 formats.

So, in all honesty: DocBook is not a success story for me.


Wolfgang Häfelinger
häfelinger IT - Applied Software Architecture
+31 648 27 61 59

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