Subject: Re: why XML? (fwd)
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Mark Weinem <email@example.com>
Date: 04/01/2007 23:15:29
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2007 16:51:53 -0400
From: James K. Lowden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: why XML?
Mark Weinem wrote:
>> I thought mdoc(7) provided all the necessary features for simultaneous
>> publication of documentation in various forms
How do you define a URL in mdoc? Does it become an HREF anchor when
converted to HTML? What about a GUI component? How do you include a
>> If folks want more structured (and truly structured) documentation
>> then I could only recommend Lout (pkgsrc/textproc/lout) as it is light
>> years beyond anything-TeX or troff-like and still light years beyond
>> anything-ML too.
I don't understand how you can recommend it. The PDF backend is
officially deprecated, and I see no HTML backend.
>> I'd personally be happier with raw troff or even raw TeX than
>> anything-ML. There's nothing in the textual/documentation world more
>> difficult and more complex to read, parse, or manage than *ML files.
The evidence stands against you, though. Many very large documentation
projects rely on DocBook.
None of the systems you mention afaik have anything like DocBook
stylesheets. I don't see separation of content from format. Take the
<screen> tag for example (http://www.docbook.org/tdg/en/html/screen.html).
How would you impose uniform formatting of screenshots unless every
instance of a screen is so designated?
DocBook is not perfect for everything. When my daughter's school papers
began including footnotes, I set her up with LaTeX, not DocBook, for
heaven's sake. Right tool for the job. She's not trying to maintain
DocBook is neither an accident nor a fad. It demonstrably yields good
HTML and printed output. It is well documented and actively worked on. I
would also guess that of any system you might mention, it has the most
practitioners. For those reasons alone it's the best available choice.