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Re: Everyone go have a beer.

From: Eric S. Raymond <esr_at_thyrsus.com>
Date: 2001-02-28 04:08:45 CET

Karl Fogel <kfogel@galois.ch.collab.net>:
> I had a long-term horrible experience with DocBook a while back. Nice
> format, maybe, but the tools were very immature and basically required
> a full-time support person to answer people's questions, fix
> installation issues, and write Makefiles. (And we're talking about a
> group of clueful developers here, each of whom already knew multiple
> structured markup languages.)
>
> Maybe things have changed since then... but if they haven't, do you
> really want to be that full-time support person? :-)
>
> Texinfo does seem to be sufficient for what we're doing.

I sympathize. Until recently the DocBook toolchain *was* pretty crappy.

They finally got their act together about six months back, I migrated
all my FAQs and documents along about December, and I haven't
regretted it once. All my SGML-tools documents have been converted.
I don't use Texinfo for new projects any more, and if it weren't for
the Jargon File I'd be out of Texinfo-land entirely. Not that I
dislike the format, especially, but DocBook webifies better. And
there's a larger issue of integrated documentation...

Texinfo almost certainly sufficient for what *this* project is doing.
The real advantage of DocBook is that it would play better with what *other*
projects are doing -- GNOME, KDE, the Linux kernel itself. The
combination of DocBook and the Open Metadata Format standard points
us towards a world in which installing a package will add its docs
into a searchable, fully hyperlinked site database that can be
viewed through anything HTTP-capable.

This is what info was supposed to do, but better. Texinfo was a brave
try for 1985 and I've done entire books in it, but its day is done. I
respectfully recommend that you guys at least consider moving to
DocBook.

(Would it help if I wrote texi2docbook? I've been thinking about
doing this anyway in order to convert the Jargon File.)

-- 
		Eric S. Raymond
Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies
to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule--and
both commonly succeed, and are right... The United States
has never developed an aristocracy really disinterested or an
intelligentsia really intelligent. Its history is simply a record
of vacillations between two gangs of frauds. 
	--- H. L. Mencken
Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:23 2006

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