I didn't say everything, and there are obviously formats that are difficult or impossible. In fact, I'd be surprised if there was a Word to SGML translator in the first place.I think you are completely wrong, here. is the first document was in sgml (and lost, for example), may be you can back translate to sgml, and I am not shure of that, but I can give you ton's of word documents that could never be translated in sgml. :-(
It's also obvious that stuff that was originated in some other format can only be translated into a subset of SGML. That may be enough for some authors. Once it gets turned into SGML, something like LyX may be the way to go.
In answer to the poster that accused me of dumping anybody with a 486, what I said was it was possible to cater to people with old 486s AND people with newer machines. You guys brought up the issue of slow translation. It isn't a problem for me. The guys with older machines can keep doing things the old way - there's no reason to trash something that already works. However, there's also no reason not to move into the 21st century. After all, Linux has the virtue that it accommodates faster to changes than anything else. Why should LDP be any different?
The issue I'm interested in, which is probably bypassing a lot of the people answering me, is that if we want LDP to be accessible to the Windoze world, we have to cater to Windoze authors. That means we need to accept formats (some, at least) produced by Windoze WYSIWYG word processors, or some reasonable facsimiles. In a way, I'm writing an LDP advocacy HOWTO with this thread. Most of the answers I've gotten completely miss the point. You guys are so completely taken with the virtues of SGML and DocBook, it's a religious issue with you, and you offer your own personal experience ("it isn't so hard") while failing completely to understand that I don't give a shit about SGML and DocBook and will be perfectly satisfied never to learn anything about either. I'm 56 and I've been in the computer business since 1964. I've seen maybe 100 different editors in that time and maybe 25 different markup languages. I wrote my dissertation by modifying an assembly language version of roff to format my dissertation to University of Arizona rules. I've had it with markup languages. I don't want to hear about it. I want my computer to take care of it and that's the end of it.
I'm not a lot different from the people you need to attract as authors. If all you get is nerds that like SGML, all the Linux docs will be written in nerd speak, and the people who we'd like to attract to Linux will be completely turned off. There's a reason HOWTOs are sometimes impenetrable, and that reason is you, guys. What you need is people who are smart, had trouble getting Linux to work, want to write about it, and don't have time for and don't give a shit about SGML. SGML should be an internal matter for the LDP, and the wider author population should never be troubled by it. If they want to access the greater capabilities of SGML, fine, it's there. But most HOWTOs are simply text, and there's no reason to impose the 1% on the 99%.
John, thank you for your comments on WP. Since I use it under NT, it looks like a good choice for Linux as well. That way I can have the same software on both OSs.