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Re: Editors, Searching, Geekness, and Gary Preckshot

Peter Hernberg wrote:
> --- Gary Preckshot <garrell@inreach.com> wrote:
> > Peter Hernberg wrote:
> > >
> > > First: Editors
> > > Gary seems to have some sort of super-huge issue with text editors,
> > especially
> > > vi.
> >
> > Nope. I have a huge issue with using inadequate tools.
> Why? Assuming that vi and friends are inadquate, why should you (or I) care? 

Because if you want to use DocBook as a system, you have to
have tools that support the system. When I first got on this
list, SGML was extolled because of its many system virtues.
As it turned out, none of them were actually being used
except the ability to output in a variety of formats. If you
want to use the search and retrieval capability, you need a
higher level of competence in the content producers. It's
very similar to a programming language. If you want good
programs, you either hire good people or you compensate by
having tools that support writing good programs.

> As
> long as the SGML parses, the writing is good, and the points are technically
> accurate, who cares? 

That's only part of it. We're getting bigger now, and we
expect writers to have some knowledge of work that has gone
before and relates to what they are writing about. In
technical fields, it's called citing prior art. The idea of
searching is to enable the reader to locate documents that
may bear on his/her problem.

> This isn't a business. 

No, it's technical writing in a technical writing system.
Otherwise why use DocBook. The IEEE would love to have 100
years of submissions converted to a DTD. They have the same
problem we do - searching and finding related papers. Try
INSPEC or other technical paper search engines. The IEEE and
other technical organizations run mostly on volunteers.

> If it were, we would be concerned
> the process.

You don't have to be a business to be concerned with the

> This is organization which depends on contributions. We care about
> the results.

So do the IEEE, the AMA, the APS.....


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