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Re: [xml-doc] Re: Newbie: towards 'single sourcing', feasibility of Word-DocBook 'round trip'

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  • Bill Harris
    ... Hash: SHA1 ... If you have a transform (an XSL file) that will do the job! :-) I think I ve used a transform to RTF in the deep, dark past. I don t know
    Message 1 of 41 , Dec 20, 2006
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      "Avraham Makeler" <amakeler@...> writes:

      >>> To convert DocBook markup to something else -- PDF, HTML Help, RTF, HTML
      > in various forms, etc.

      > And to DOC or WordML? :-)

      If you have a transform (an XSL file) that will do the job! :-)

      I think I've used a transform to RTF in the deep, dark past. I don't
      know of any to DOC or WordML, but I don't keep up with that.

      > I really don't think it's so difficult. I haven't tried it yet, but so I
      > read, Word's {IF} and {INCLUDETEXT} fields together with Document Custom
      > Properties provide the basic tools without even any VBA at all. So the
      > bottom has fallen out of the project really. I am starting to thing you
      > really need a full blown single sourcing system only for outputs in multiple
      > formats.

      It may not be difficult today, but then, if it breaks because something
      changes in Word or a new case comes along you hadn't considered or your
      client decides they want a new feature or ..., _you_ are the one who has
      to fix it. :-)

      Besides, there are advantages to your client to having a standard
      solution: they're more likely to find others who can help out if there's
      more work than you can do or if you stop working for them.

      If you want to see what it's like to do DocBook stuff quickly and rather
      easily, install eDE, taking all the defaults -- you can get fancy later,
      if you want and need to.

      Then create some sample DocBook XML file (or perhaps there's a demo in
      the eDE download), and process it according to the eDE instructions.

      To do that, you'll want a decent editor and a decent command shell.
      There are a few good editors around; I use NTEmacs (GNU Emacs
      pre-compiled for Windows) and its nxml-mode. See
      http://facilitatedsystems.com/links.html#writing for a couple of Emacs
      links. For a quick start, though, Notepad should work, at least for a
      few minutes. :-)

      As for a shell on Windows, cygwin (http://cygwin.com/) seems to be the
      standard.

      docbook_create.bat will set you up with a file into which you can start
      adding content, and it creates a file structure you need. (You can
      customize where those directories go later; make it simple on yourself
      now.)

      docbook_pdf.bat will turn the resulting file into PDF.

      docbook_documentation.bat will open up _DocBook: The Definitive Guide_
      so you can find the markup you want.

      There are certainly more powerful systems around, but you can have eDE
      up and running quickly, especially if you stay with Notepad and the
      default configuration. I suspect you can use Windows command prompt to
      run the eDE commands, too.

      Bill
      - --
      Bill Harris http://facilitatedsystems.com/weblog/
      Facilitated Systems Everett, WA 98208 USA
      http://facilitatedsystems.com/ phone: +1 425 337-5541
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    • Melanie Kendell
      Hi Ismael Structured writing has nothing to do with tools or markup - it is about writing in a style that is inherently structured. Examples of things that
      Message 41 of 41 , Mar 4 8:09 PM
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        Hi Ismael

        Structured writing has nothing to do with tools or markup - it is about
        writing in a style that is inherently structured.

        Examples of things that contribute to structured writing would be:

        * consistent use of repeated patterns of information (eg a topic about a
        dialog would have a structure such as Heading>para about the purpose of the
        dialog>para about how to navigate to the dialog>screenshot>lead-in sentence
        for table>table of dialog components and their descriptions)

        * separation of information types, why (conceptual), what (reference), how
        (process, procedure), etc - this is fundamental to methodologies such as
        Information Mapping and is a guiding principle behind DITA

        * sensible use of information hierarchies (ie heading levels that are
        neither too flat or too deep and group like information together)

        This is a writing technique that can be applied using any tool and without
        any intention of moving to XML (or XHTML). But, as I said, this is the first
        and most useful step for making the move to a useful form of XML - ignore
        this at your peril :)

        -Mel



        On 02/03/07, Ismael Olea <ismael@...> wrote:
        >
        > 2007/3/2, Melanie Kendell <melanie.kendell@...<melanie.kendell%40gmail.com>
        > >:
        > >
        > > PS Yes, I agree that structured writing is the first, most important
        > step
        > > to
        > > structured documents.
        > > . _
        > >
        >
        > FYI:
        >
        > Kompozer/nvu is a great entry point for structured (XHTML) writing
        > accesible
        > for anyone.
        >
        > http://kompozer.net/
        >
        > With some scripting it can be used for ¬ęprototyping¬Ľ docs by non XML-aware
        > writers.
        >
        > --
        >
        > Ismael Olea
        >
        > http://olea.org/diario/
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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