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Re: Book: can we incorporate O'Reilly's edits?

From: Garrett Rooney <rooneg_at_electricjellyfish.net>
Date: 2004-10-21 15:29:18 CEST

Julian Foad wrote:
> Ben Collins-Sussman wrote:
>> O'Reilly made a bunch of edits without telling us, and we had to
>> manually discover them and recreate them in the source. It was ugly.
>> :-(
> That's painfully ironic, given the systems and techniques that the book
> describes. :-)

It's also not uncommon, at least judging from my experiences in this
area, and those of everyone else I've talked to... It seems that after
you hit a certain point in the publishing process last minute changes
are made in the framemaker (or whatever equivalent tool the publisher is
using) version of the book directly, rather than making the change in
the original (in this case docbook) version and reimporting into frame.

It seems like the major motivating factors for this are that there are
always a LOT of manual tweaks that are done in frame to make things look
right, which would be hard to redo, and the fact that the non-technical
people tend to not know how to use the docbook toolchain, so even if
they did know how to edit the raw XML (and they don't) they wouldn't be
able to regenerate a final copy from it, so they can't tell if their
changes work or not.

It's a very different process from what you'd expect, at least coming
from the software development world where such a thing would be taboo.


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Received on Thu Oct 21 15:29:48 2004

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