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Use of SGML vs. LaTeX

From: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: PostgreSQL-documentation <pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Use of SGML vs. LaTeX
Date: 2002-03-21 00:24:33
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Lists: pgsql-docs
There was an interesting discussion on Slashdot today related to TeXmacs
and the use of SGML vs. LaTeX for document preparation.  I think the
best part was this:
	Sure, with Docbook, you don't have to worry about it -- not because it
	does it Right, but because you can't worry about it by design. The
	result of using a perfectly abstract system like that, is that you just
	take what comes out, regardless of whether or not it's what you want.
	Changing the layout that Docbook generates is exceedingly painful -- and
	the tradeoff you make when you go to a perfect structural definition
	like that, is a cleaner document in exchange for a layout that is
	signifigantly harder to alter.

	The tradeoff is simply not worth it for alot of things. For documents
	whose existance matters more than thier presentation (Docbook is ideal
	for maintaining documentation -- because it hardly ever matters how
	documentation is presented, as long as it's there), a perfectly
	structural layout system is great.
	But for writing an APA-publication-guide-compliant paper for a
	Psychology course, anything that doesn't give you precise physical
	control over the document is exceedingly painful. (Yes, you can write an
	Docbook-LaTeX template that will handle everything -- but one doesn't
	exist, and it would be exceedingly painful to do for 99.9% of the
	population. And a long weekend project for the other 0.1%. And there's
	that tradeoff -- you give up easy physical control in exchange for
	perfect structural definition).

The fill thread is:


The full discussion is at:

  Bruce Momjian                        |
  pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us               |  (610) 853-3000
  +  If your life is a hard drive,     |  830 Blythe Avenue
  +  Christ can be your backup.        |  Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania 19026

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