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Re: Open Document Environment (ODE)

Matthew Wilson wrote:
> Hey everyone,
> > 1) Having one specific format (Docbook for example) is great from an
> > indexing and searching perspecitive.  As the person in charge of the
> > LKBP's search engine, I've given a lot of thought to how I can make the
> > searches more meaningful to the user and more accurate.  One of the
> > biggest improvements in this area come when you have a standard format
> > such as Docbook and then give your search engine the intelligence to
> > understand it.  It's also a lot of work :)
> I agree that having one format is essential to the success of any
> documentation system.  However, as it seems that sgml-tools is no longer
> being supported (I tried every version on my clean slackware box, and
> *none* of them would compile/install/work) Perhaps we should try to move
> away from SGML/DocBook, and go with XML.  Although XML is still in it's
> infancy, I believe that it would be an excellent platform to develop
> documentation with.
> XML is an open standard, heavily supported by many in the computer
> industry.  Even the next generation of web browsers will be able to read
> it natively to some degree.  It's also highly structured, designed from
> the beginning to be processed into other forms.  All we would need to do
> is pick/create a suitable DTD.

I hate to reply to a thread this huge and unweildy (is there going to be
a mailing list for it soon?), but I really don't think that we should be
moving to XML at this point.  I'm currently using both sgml-tools and
sgmltools on my RH linux machine, and although I don't have them on
Solaris yet, I don't think that it's impossible.  I don't know of any
tools that can use XML at this point, except for Microsoft Internet
Explorer 5.  SGMLTools works, and can probably be made to work on Slack
with some help from the mailing list.  Also, I haven't seen either an
ISO or W3C document on XML as a "standard", can you point me in the
right direction?  Proposals are there, but nothing official last I

> As for DocBook/Linuxdoc in sgml, since the current bulk of LDP
> documentation is in sgml, perhaps we would need either a conversion effort
> (automated?) or a grandfathering system.

I think that once the LDP has moved to the SGML DocBook DTD, and once
there is an XML DocBook DTD, this conversion will be VERY easy.  Before
then, things could be ugly, depending on what XML DTD is chosen.  I tend
to think we should stick with/wait for DocBook, it's a very nice DTD for
technical writing.

> The whole point is that I think that we should not rely on software that
> is no longer being maintained (as sgml-tools has not been for some time)
> especially when so many people have so much trouble installing it. (I'm
> not the only one)

What software do we have that IS being maintained for XML?  Anybody who
is running an RPM or deb based system can get packages for SGML-Tools
(v1), and there is an RPM available for SGMLTools (v2).  Anyway, get
some specific details to the sgmltools mailing list, and I expect that
you can get it to build.
Again, sorry for this going to so many lists,

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