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Re: [OCLUG-Tech] anyone out there using a production publishing toolchain?

Hi Robert, 

I would use Latex If I was publishing something. It is a very well known typesetting tool in the Publishing Industry. 


From: "Robert P. J. Day" <rpjday [ at ] crashcourse [ dot ] ca> 
To: "Ottawa Linux Users Group" <linux [ at ] lists [ dot ] oclug [ dot ] on [ dot ] ca> 
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 7:08:34 AM 
Subject: [OCLUG-Tech] anyone out there using a production publishing toolchain? 

is anyone out there using a (preferably xml/docbook-based) 
publishing toolchain for publishing books, manuals or courseware that 
runs on Linux? 

i've got a number of old courses, and more i want to write, and i 
want to update my publishing toolchain. that i want to use some form 
of xml/docbook is pretty much a no-brainer since that will give me the 
most flexibility in terms of output rendering, but there are a number 
of choices even there, so i was wondering if anyone on this list is 
using some type of toolchain like that for regular production use at 
their place. 

the first option is to use straight docbook, which will definitely 
work but is kind of verbose since you typically need to type in those 
overly long tags. 

one variation on that is that, way back when, i wrote a pre-docbook 
processing step that used an XSLT processor (xsltproc) that let me add 
a bunch of specific shorter tags (like <p> -> <para> and so on), then 
i ran *my* original content through what's called an "identity 
transform" that simply replaced my shortcuts with the proper docbook 
tags. (and, no, it's not as simple as you think.) so that gave me 
the ability to use proper docbook but save a lot of typing by sneaking 
in my handy little transform at the beginning. 

yet another option is publican -- https://fedorahosted.org/publican/ 
-- which is a packaged docbook/xml toolchain that lets you do neat 
things like branding your documents. so it hides a lot of the grunt 
work. i'm just checking it out, and if anyone else is using it, i'd 
be interested in knowing what you think of it. 

the final option that i just ran across is "slacker's docbook," 
http://slackerdoc.tigris.org/. i found this only because i just 
finished pre-pub reviewing the next edition of this book: 


and noticed that the authors stated they'd written the whole thing 
using that reduced form of docbook, which conveniently adds a whole 
bunch of time-saving features that are normally a bit of a pain with 
regular docbook. so that's now an option as well. 

so ... any opinions? 


p.s. i could almost make a talk out of this, couldn't i? :-) 


Robert P. J. Day Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/rpjday 
LinkedIn: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/rpjday 
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