Re: [Boost-docs] The beauty of LATEX

Subject: Re: [Boost-docs] The beauty of LATEX
From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-12-19 01:37:35

Joel de Guzman wrote:
> Thoughts? Please, I don't need another "just use XXX or YYY
> instead of Quickbook" answer. As its original author, I too
> love Quickbook.

For a project I'm currently working on I was very much interested
in getting a good system for making documents. The list of things
I wanted was

a) a system which which separated the content from the formating.

b) could be used to generate a variety of output formats including
pdf, epub, html, and maybe windows help files.

c) include some more or less easy way to edit the files and get
an idea how the content would look when formatted.

d) some sort of scripting so I could make a "form filling" setup
like - function call, name, arg1, ... and have it generate the
appropriate text.

I considered different options

1) In the long ago passed I used nroff to do this by implementing
a bunch of macros. This gave me a) and d)

2) I took a look at Latex - but it seemed to me that it failed
to give me a), b), c). I don't remember about d)

3) MS Word - this program drives me absolutely crazy.
That was more than enough reason to stay away from it.
It would have given me c)

4) Quickbook gave me a), some of b) (pdf). I liked
the tersness of it - but running the tool chain was very fragil
for me. When it worked - great - but when it failed I had
to delve into bjam script files - a place where I've never felt
at home. Also it seemed too focused on boost documentation
and what I really wanted was to try my hand at my new book
whose working title is "Boost Brew"

5) I looked at DocBook (4/5). This gave me a), b). It is well
supported by publishers. Editing xml that doc book uses is
toture so I didn't have c). BUT, I came up XMLMind which
is an XML editor with configuration files for DocBook. This
means I can edit in a WSIWYG way and it generates/maintains
the xml tree in another pane. Actually, you never have to even
look at the other pane. So This addressed c) I should note
that becomming accustomed to using XML mind did take some
effort - but after you get over the hump you're in a pretty good
place. Coupled with some good links like XML the definitive
reference you're in business. I still don't get d) - oh well.

Robert Ramey

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