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RE: if SGML is so great...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gary Preckshot [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2000 2:43 PM
> To: LDP
> Subject: Re: if SGML is so great...
> 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
> never be translated in sgml. :-(
> 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.
> 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%.
I don't give a care whether or not you LIKE sgml, I've given reasons why I
think it's important for the LDP. These arent' reasons that you should
write in SGML, but reasons that the LDP should use SGML. I had a much
shorter conversation the other day on the GDP list about licenses, and I'm
going to use their argument here. You can write documents in any format you
want, but if you want them to be a part of our "core" collection, then they
have to be in a useful format to use, namely, SGML. If you supply us with
an HTML doc, we'll say here's a new HTML doc, it's going in with the rest of
our HTML docs. We don't provide any "intelligent" searching on these, but
you can download them and use grep if you want to. If you supply us with an
SGML (specifically DocBook) document, then we'll say here's a new DocBook
doc. It's been automatically added to our topical list, and indexed and
added to our intelligent search tool. Then, 6 months later, when you're
looking for an example of how to do something, you go to our intelligent
search engine, and say I want to find all examples dealing with "this"
topic, and it goes out and says ok, here are my examples, and finds you the
example you're looking for.
So, let's just say that I'm not opposed to accepting documents in formats
other than SGML, but they're "second-class citizens" in my mind, and should
be treated as such. The documents, not the people.
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