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Re: Switching to XML

From: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
To: David Fetter <david(at)fetter(dot)org>
Cc: Guillaume Lelarge <guillaume(at)lelarge(dot)info>, Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>, Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>, pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org, David Blewett <david(at)dawninglight(dot)net>
Subject: Re: Switching to XML
Date: 2006-12-10 05:56:35
Message-ID: 1165730195.13210.15.camel@localhost.localdomain (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-docs
> In addition to the long-standing problem that there is no way to edit
> the SGML docs with any known GUI tool, we have a particular use case,
> namely producing a multi-volume set suitable for printing as books.

Well yes and no. There isn't really any good WYSIWYG tools, but there
are plenty of graphical validating editors for Docbook XML. I actually
don't agree with JoshBs argument on this one as most major FOSS (Gnome,
KDE, Linux) have moved to Docbook XML without the need of graphical

I do think the tools in general can be a little daunting and perhaps a
pgfoundry project that had a perl script that would download and
configure a self contained jail of tools for working with the PostgreSQL
docs would be good.

> > > We have people that *DO NOT* contribute because of this SGML
> > > requirement.  They have what I consider extremely valid reasons,
> > > namely it is dumb to require a writer to use emacs or write tags
> > > explictly.
> Peter, if you have a working example of a GUI tool that can be used
> with the SGML source in its current form, the burden of proof is on
> you to demonstrate it.  Another flat assertion from you of some kind
> of mathematical equivalence between SGML and XML will *not* do the
> trick.

I have to agree here, the reality is that the tools that are designed to
work with XML work with XML. Yes you *can* in theory make them work with
SGML, and some may work directly out of the box (Emacs would for editing
for example), not all of them would.

> > Did you try to use with DocBook ? I tried once and it
> > was a complete disaster. But it was a long time ago. I will try
> > again this week-end.
> I gave it a try post-patches, and it's still a disaster 3284 pages of
> un-rendered XML.

Well keep in mind that all XML is unrendered :). OpenOffice will do
things like this:


Which equates to:



We don't do that in the PostgreSQL sgml (thank goodness) so it comes out
really narly :). However it wouldn't take much to clean up small
sections for people.

> > In fact, we need 15 minutes to build HTML files and 10 minutes to
> > build PDF file. To be completely honest, I don't seem to be able to
> > build PDF file for 8.2.0 release. I must have made a mistake (or
> > perhaps a lot of :) ).
> It'll be nice to have the document building cycle shorter, but the
> point here is that we need to enter the 21st century.  That Tom found
> a need to fork a document tool, i.e. take ownership of a whole large
> piece of software, that being what forking means, is a neon sign that
> means, "we're stuck with broken tools."

That is a big concern for me as well. I don't think Tom expects us to
maintain the code, and we can certainly try to get the patch submitted
to the open jade project which would definitely help. However, the
movement of the open jade projects appears basically dead.

Moving to XML based tools does give us a more modern and developed


Joshua D. Drake

> Cheers,
> D

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Subject: Re: Switching to XML
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