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Re: Rep:Re: Permission to submit HOWTO

Gary Preckshot wrote:
  - A LOT.  

A bunch of folks are hacking their way through the jungle when one of
them gets the idea to climb a tree and take a look around.  He does so
and calls down to his fellows "Aah HEY GUYS -- Wrong Forest!".  Do they
stop to listen to the guy or ignore him and keep hacking?

Preckshot's got it right.  (How's the view up there Gary?)  It ain't
about what tool is better or worse for doing the job.  Its about how the
work product, specifically DocBook files, have limitations when you try
to expand the scope of how the information in those files can be
accessed and used.  Gary's specific issue is searchability.  I'll bet
there are others.  

Doc book and SGML and the way they're being used today have plenty of
advantages for producing Documents.  If producing documents is all you
want to do they're good enough.

Trouble is that the information you're putting in the resulting
documents is also needed in other input formats.  Not just additional
output formats.  The information you're working with to produce a
document is also needed in completely different structures than the ones
you create in SGML and DOCBOOK.  This is what P.'s been trying to tell
you.  Listen.  I hope you can start discussing ideas about the structure
of information pertaining to Linux instead of getting into extended
discussion of why any one familiar or favorite tool can be used to do
"everything", without ever defining what the "everything" is.  

Many are busy developing and deploying as Docbook documents.  While they
do so, they are devloping a resource of information.  This resource is
recorded as a docbook file.  We need to examine new uses for the
information, asking how best to represent this information so it can be
effecively used.  Docbook may not be the whole answer, or if Docbook can
be refined and extended without making it so complicated that docbook
itself becomes unusable, maybe it is.  The answer may be DocBook and
something else yet to be invented.  Either way we should not care too
much about any one tool.  

In any case, Docbook and SGML are where linux documentation is today.
That's ok.  The work being done using these tools is valuable.  I use
the results regularly and I thank you for it.  Now let's move on and
define the future. 

-Pat Callahan

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