DocBook Beginnings

So its time to actually write my thesis, that means putting words into a word processor, by and large. So immediately I think “Ill use M$ Word!”. And then I think “Word will destroy my documents formatting, 15 minutes before I’m ready to print!”. I mean I like word, but it sucks to fight with it over formatting a complicated document. So then I think “Lets use Open Office, it might be better”. Well it is better, but its not as nice to work with, it too caused me to fight with numbering and formatting. This sucks.

Then I think, “Don’t people write Books and Papers on computers all the time?!”. Well sure they do, they use LaTeX. Well that solves the type setting problem. What about XHTML? Lets be blunt:

  • I want to write in Word (or OpenOffice)
  • I want to get clean customizable XHTML output, both multi-page and single page versions
  • I want to get PDF output that conforms to Florida Tech $21 “Style Guide” (that didn’t come with any templates!)

DocBook is supposed to do all that. That bad news is “its complicated”. You need a ‘tool chain’ that involves several applications processing your text and some sort of script to make it all less painful.

If I get this all working ill have to make a point of providing FIT students with the tool chain so they don’t have to suffer. Come on FIT, there is no excuse for not providing a template!



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