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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

(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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