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Re: [docbook] DocBook and Publishing Software

Actually, we at Juniper use Epic too for all our Technical Publications.. (yes we do a lot of XML authoring).. and we're reasonably happy with Epic.. One gripe I've had with Epic is that it reformats my raw XML completely.. And is thus a complete mess were you to open it in Emacs or Notepad later.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Scott Hudson" <>
To: "'David White'" <>; "'Bill Lawrence'" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 1:50 PM
Subject: RE: [docbook] DocBook and Publishing Software

I've used Arbortext quite a bit, and it is indeed the most user friendly and robust product out there.

The "extra junk" consists of specific processing instructions, so it shouldn't affect any external applications or the actual content.


Scott Hudson

Flatirons Solutions Corporation
XML and Content Management Solutions
Knowledge is Power. Sharing is Empowerment.

-----Original Message----- From: David White [] Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 2:46 PM To: Bill Lawrence Cc: Subject: Re: [docbook] DocBook and Publishing Software

ArborText is definately a solid product but I hear their data is
proprietary and that their XML has extra junk in it so that it works
better with their suite of software.   Does this hinder its use for
applications outside ArborText?

Bill Lawrence wrote:


I have to agree with Dave Pawson.  Epic (Dave uses the old Adept name)
is the cadillac and the closest fit to a WYSIWYG application.  I've
used it in the past at other companies, and I've specified it as our
editor here.  Dave's equally right about writers adapting to XML and
tag-based editing.  Some do easily, others do so more grudgingly.  How
you sell the advantages has a lot to do with the ease of acceptance.

Our information design group uses InDesign exclusively, and it seems a
very capable page layout program.  Much better than Frame but perhaps
not as powerful as Quark.  It does have XML import and export
capabilities, but you need to build the tables that map tags to
internal styles.  I'm still a couple of weeks away from building our
InDesign  import/export filter, but from the testing I've done it
appears capable of importing Docbook structures.  Tables are another

If you don't have a fairly in-depth knowledge of XML, XSLT, and FO,
consider taking some classes.  Having that knowledge will go a long
way in making your transition to the world of Docbook a whole lot easier.

Good luck!


David White wrote:

Hello all,

The company I work for is making decisions about its plans for future
docbook publishing and the current situation that Framemaker is in.
Given that Frame may not survive, and that docbook / XML is the
format of choice for our publishing needs.  What are your opinions on
software solutions for a publishing department?  Granted the
department has individuals of different roles such as writers and
editors etc.

The tools I have seen are two fold: WYSWYG publishing (ala frame) via
Adobe InDesign (which I hear isn't ready yet to replace Quark or
Frame yet, dont know its DocBook abilities at all).

OR the XMetal route where publishers essentially become programmers
and use something like Sernea from Syntext to be able to view their

Anyone willing to offer their suggestions from the Industry as to an
intelligent way to merge a department into the future of docbook

Thank you,

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David White

Web Application Developer

Ken Cook Company

9929 West Silver Spring Drive

Milwaukee, WI 53225

414-466-6060 (voice)

414-466-0840 (fax)

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