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RE: Requiring use of DocBook; LinuxDoc

On Sun, 25 Jun 2000, Gregory Leblanc wrote:

> ... I'll ask "Do authors get a say in exactly what gets
> published?"

Aah -- the puir wee innocent lamb! <SOB>

GLM has already given a very comprehensive reply to this, so I'll just
add the following from one of my own experiences (as a writer) with a
household name publisher, and one of their editors with a first-class
degree in English from Oxford.
(Sounds good, eh?  Now read on.)

My text was available on PC-formatted disk, in ASCII, already half 
marked-up in an SGML DTD.  Neither the publisher nor the editor could
cope with this -- never mind the SGML, they couldn't even accept text
on disk (we're talking London, 1991). So what in effect happened was
that the editor spent the next eighteen months re-typing my text from a
printout to a TYPESCRIPT, editing along the way  =o)
This was then sent to a typesetter, who set a high-speed typist to
transcribe it to disk.

OK so far?  You can imagine the literals and typos that have been
introduced to date.  (I was gobsmacked -- stunned beyond belief. When I
received the first galleys, I produced an _exact_ typeset copy, from my
own disks, in under 10 days.  _Including_ all the crap now introduced
into my text.)

The very worst thing for me was the fact that in the text, references to
pre-decimal UK currency (L.s.d. : Libri, solidi, dinari : pounds,
shillings and pence) -- such as "1/2d" [one shilling and tuppence] -- 
had been typographically re-assigned the incorrect value of
"1/2d" [a ha'penny] -- where my original text had been clearly marked up
to differentiate between the solidus [shilling mark] and the fraction
bar.  (And the font chosen by the book designer was also capable of the
same differentiation.)  The incorrectly typeset version was nevertheless
sent for printing. 


No.  Academic purist highly aware of the need for technical accuracy.
And able to implement it.

Authors of the LDP -- give thanks that you can control your own markup.

Martin Wheeler         -         StarTEXT - Glastonbury - BA6 9PH - England
[1] mwheeler@startext.co.uk                      http://www.startext.co.uk/
[2] mwheeler@startext.f9.co.uk

  --  "When I first encountered Cora, I thought the Space Age had
       arrived.  These days I just use a Mac."
        John Barker [the master printer who taught me typography] 

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