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RE: Something I would like to see

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joshua Drake [mailto:poet@linuxports.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2000 4:01 PM
> To: Tom Fawcett
> Cc: ldp-discuss@lists.linuxdoc.org
> Subject: Re: Something I would like to see
> Tom Fawcett wrote:
> > Joshua Drake <poet@linuxports.com> wrote:
> > > One of the constant drawbacks for the LDP in getting new 
> authors is the
> > > requirement that they submit with SGML.
> >
> > At the risk of sounding like an elitist snot, maybe this is 
> a good thing.
> >
> > Speaking as a HOWTO author, there's a fair amount of work 
> in organizing,
> > writing, illustrating, indexing and maintaining a document. 
>  Learning
> > SGML/DocBook is not trivial, but it's not horrible either, 
> and it's only a
> > small fraction of the (ongoing) overall author effort.  I 
> have to wonder
> > about the people for whom SGML is such an impediment to 
> getting involved---
> > would these people really make good contributors?
> Absolutely. You are an accountant who has been use MAS 90 for years.
> All of a sudden you get a offer from 2 different companies 
> one uses Timberline,
> the other uses MAS 90.
> You take the MAS 90 job because of familiarity with the 
> application. Does it make
> you a bad accountant because you don't want to learn 
> Timberline? Absolutely not.
> > On the other hand, maybe this is a good reason to keep a separate,
> > lower-quality document category, like what the mini-HOWTOs 
> used to be,
> > which can be submitted in any format.
> Just because someone doesn't know SGML does not make the 
> document either lower
> quality or the author any less qualified to write a HOWTO.

I don't think that's what Tom was trying to say.  I think the intent with
the "lower quality" bit was that because the LDP can do less with the
non-SGML document than we could with the equivalent document marked up using
DocBook, the document is "lower quality" with regards to indexing and
searching.  You can write teriffic documents using even a program as archaic
as Microsoft Word, but those documents are NOT as easily added to a
collection as ones written in SGML are.  I'm going to have to download LyX
tonight so that I can offer a better educated opinion on that, but from what
I've heard from the people who use it, get that and use it for writing
documentation if you don't want to know what you document really says
(WYSIWYM, sorta).  If you DO care about SGML, use a text editor that has
syntax highlighting support.  Either way, I don't care, as long as the
documents in the "collection" are written in SGML so that we can use them

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