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Re: working SGML package

Only because you asked ...

The ideal DocBook toolset?  Well, to begin with

- Installation should record the system settings (as does, for example,
  gtk) so future packages can be easily localized.  The installation
  should also build the system CATALOG file to a useful set of features

- A template 'configure' script to create makefile for any new project
  which in turn can be used to generate (at minimum) web, RTF and LaTeX
  output, but which should also be able to generate PDF, Postscript
  and DVI (ie, automates the LaTeX handling).  

- Include indexing, bibliography and "table of contents" generators which
  can be seamlessly included into the Make process.  These could even be
  written in Perl.

- You should be able to extend stylesheets locally (ie system wide) and
  on a per-document basis without adding three 'path' options to your
  command line.

- the use-cases should be what people want to do rather than what the
  machine wants to hear.  The end-user commands should be simply

        make html
        make rtf
        make pdf

  &c --- end-users do not need to know if they are using OpenJade or
  sgmltools-1 or where the stylesheets live or what entities they've
  included; that is a sysadmin job that should be done upfront for all
  users in an enterprise.

That would be a good start; decyphering the references to 'catalog'
was a most tedious process, and I am still fighting with cascading my
stylesheets.  It would be useful if the distribution also included
many small examples of custom stylesheets and a proper definition of
the meaning and hierarchy of the DocBook tags, but I will wait until I
see Norm's book before I complain about that ;)

I'm not complaining here, I am just replying to the question with my
two bits on the functional requirements for a DocBook distribution.
I'm pretty happy with psgml-mode in Emacs (although I can't get the
colourizing to work) but this is not the way to get mass acceptance of
DocBook.  Down the road, an essential toolkit is going to also need to
bring LyX/KLyX up to speed, resurrect Corel WP/XML, add XML support to
StarOffice and (even) promote MsWord's XML kit --- as a developer, I'd
call these more of an XML IDE than a WYSIAYG editor.

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://www.bynari.com
Moderator, Linux Education Group: http://www.egroups.com/group/linux-ed

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