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Re: SGML tools aren't so great
- To: LDP <>
- Subject: Re: SGML tools aren't so great
- From: Gary Preckshot <>
- Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 14:13:39 -0700
- Resent-Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 19:35:20 -0400 (EDT)
- Resent-Message-ID: <7Ms2s.A.KRH.feLE5@murphy>
>It's a chicken-and-the-egg problem. Noone writes in SGML
because there aren't any easy editors. No editors exist
because noone writes in SGML. You know what? SGML
isn't easy to write. It's a pain.
I'm willing to believe that. It kind of illustrates my
point. However, I also understand that LDP has certain goals
that make SGML a good source language to keep documentation
in. The obvious conclusion is that we have to address two
problems - 1) having a rigorous and maintainable internal
collection, and 2) making the mechanics as invisible as
possible to the author population.
In all chicken and egg problems, what usually happens is
that things grow by accretion. Veteran LDP authors get used
to their pain and bear it proudly as membership in a club.
Progress is slow, because attempts to outline a solution are
met by denial - new guys have to undergo the initiation of
pain to be members of the club.
I'm getting WP9 because it seems to offer the best solution
on both Windows and Linux platforms for GUI SGML. It also
has a well-developed macro language that may help to
automate certain formatting and style requirements of the
LDP. I detect a large measure of NIH (not invented here) in
some of the replies. It takes the form of disparaging
comments about WP being commercial. If it solves the
problem, the price is trivial and Corel deserves it.
Meanwhile, DocBook and LyX can continue to be improved. One
advantage they have is that they can have a mode where the
rules for LDP submissions are embedded. This is preferable
to having a rule book, because it follows the prime dictum
of user interface design - don't even have the possibility
of error, then the user won't make errors because he can't.
With luck, with WP9 I'll have only glancing contact with
SGML. Does anybody know how I get the source for the Large
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