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Re: Editor flame war

Oh, I just _love_ mailing lists :)

The Swedish government just passed a new law requiring all official
documents to be written using vi? :)

If you believe that, I have some Florida real estate you may be
interested in purchasing.

Let's agree on just one thing: Different editors exist because
different people have different goals and needs, and this is another
reason why, for structured data, the LDP should standardize on a
format that is 100% editor independent, ie DocBook.

You can write DocBook in any WP/texteditor you wish.  You cannot write
WP format in anything but WP or MsWord, and even RTF renders differently
between Ted, LyX, MsWord, WP and StarOffice.  XML is the only viable
exchange method for structured data, and DocBook DTD is the only mature
XML system for technical documentation.

For those who _really_ wish to use WP8/9/2000 (I always thought 10
came next but no matter) you need _only_ create a macro package which
highlights/fonts/colours/hides anything resembling SGML markup.  It's
a dead simple pattern match.

Years ago, I would give MsWord-bound authors and editors a GPL macro
package that re-wrote all the LaTeX tags so they could see their silly
font/colour changes; they could load my LaTeX source files directly,
run the macro, and get gloriously mislead. Of course, *interpreting*
the tags totally removes all advantages of using DocBook (ie it hides
all element attributes) but this would do just as you wish and give
you a quasi-rendering of a pseudo page, more than enough to mislead
you about the final presentation of your work ;)

Besides, I have to agree with posting who wanted syntax-highlighting
of DocBook tags --- _that_ person grasps what we're talking about far
more than those who want pseudo-page rendering with an edit cursor in
it.  Syntax highlighting/hiding is the second most useful aspect of
Emacs psgml-mode (the first is telling me which tags are valid so I
don't need to remember 200 tags and I can't write bad DocBook code) 

I expect _any_ programmer's editor which supports syntax highlighting
can be extended to support DocBook.

WP/MsWord and their ilk are so proud of their VBASIC-based macro
languages, for a real fan, such a macro package should be no more than
a few minutes work; GUI DocBook fans will absolutely freak out if I
suggest they program this in an ancient and obsolete, powerless tongue
like eLISP rather than ultra 21st-century totally modern and advanced
state of the art Visual BASIC, so I won't even mention how all those
behaviours cited for WP can be added seemlessly to your EMACS, or say
anything at all about macro debugging.

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@linux.ca>: office voice/fax: 01 519 4222723
TCI - Business Innovations through Open Source : http://www.teledyn.com
Canadian Co-ordinators for Bynari International : http://ca.bynari.net/
Free Internet for a Free O/S? - http://www.teledyn.com/products/FreeWWW/

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