docbook (was: Re: ComputerName)

Dimitrie O. Paun dpaun at
Thu Nov 7 11:58:04 CST 2002

On November 7, 2002 12:23 pm, Alexandre Julliard wrote:
> Clearly the tools are an advantage, but I also think the markup syntax
> is better. Troff is not really that good, texinfo is better IMO; but
> with both you have a reasonable chance to read the document in source
> format, by simply skipping over some markup bits here and there. With
> SGML the markup is so intrusive that I find it impossible to skip over
> it and read the text, especially since the markup itself looks like
> text instead of looking like line noise.

An interesting point, I agree. But we are stuck with a lot of bad/broken
standards, and SGML/XML is not the worse of the lot. Thing is, troff is
a dying art, and it is very scary for the uninitiated. Texinfo is better,
I agree, but it's really a nice thing, and it's not doing much better than
troff (in terms of surviving). 

As for the almost-content nature of the SGML markup, I am 100% with you.
I find it very difficult to work on it, plain text. But if your editor
supports syntax highlighting (and most do, nowadays), it can alleviate
this problem quite significantly.

I just think that long term, sticking to troff, we're just raising the
bar to entry. Oh well, I guess if you maintain it, it does not matter.


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