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Re: Manpages with sgml-tools???

In article <Pine.HPP.3.96n.981030083905.11058A-100000@mlucom6.urz.uni-halle.de>, Andreas Tille <tille@physik.uni-halle.de> writes:
> On Thu, 29 Oct 1998, Dirk Eddelbuettel wrote:
>> Yodl is a package that implements a pre-document language and tools
>> to process it.  The idea of Yodl is that you write up a document in
>> a pre-language, then use the tools (eg.  yodl2html) to convert it
>> to some final document language.  Current converters are for HTML,
>> ms, man, LaTeX SGML and texinfo, plus a poor-man's text converter.
>> Main document types are "article", "report", "book" and "manpage".
>> The Yodl document language is designed to be easy to use and
>> extensible.  .  URL: http://www.xs4all.nl/~jantien/yodl/ Authors:
>> Karel Kubat <karel@icce.rug.nl> Frank Brokken <frank@icce.rug.nl>
>> Jan Nieuwenhuizen <janneke@gnu.org>

> Thanks.  That seems to be the beast I was looking for.

Also, sdc (cf the 'sdc' package) can be used to make manpages, I
think.  It has a DTD for it.  I haven't messed with that much.  It's
in contrib since it uses bigloo (as of now), which is non-free.
However, I think bigloo was recently freed.

Anyhow, ruminating on this issue further.  Docbook
<URL:http://www.oreilly.com/davenport/> is an excellent,
industry-standard DTD for software documentation.  We use it at our
company for all software documentation.  That's what it's for.
SGML-Tools <URL:http://www.sgmltools.org/> is moving to Docbook and
deprecating the linuxdoc DTDs RSN, btw.  Moreover, Docbook has all the
structure needed to create man pages

However, unfortunately, there is not currently a backend to Jade which
will produce NROFF, so it's not possible to use Docbook/jade to
produce manpages yet.  Cees de Groot has announced an intention to
develop such a backend
<URL:http://www.sgmltools.org/development.html>, although I don't know
what progress has been made.

As for math typesetting, see MathML
<URL:http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-MathML/toc.html> and
<URL:http://indy.cs.concordia.ca/mathml/>. I've heard stories people
using MathML + jade + jadetex to do good effect.
<URL:http://www.nag.co.uk/projects/OpenMath/mml-files/> seems to have
the requisite DTDs and DSSSL files.  I haven't tested these but it
should be a viable, working MathML + jade system, allowing output to
TeX (and thence to DVI, PS, PDF), RTF, MIF, and HTML. BTW, I think
MathML should be packaged in Debian.  I'd be happy to do the
preliminary packaging if someone wants to step forward and maintain
it, since I don't do mathematical typesetting anymore.

As for the question, why bother using SGML, it really depends on what
your needs are.  I find it very useful to be able to break up the
editing context and the output/media contexts, which SGML can help
with quite a bit.  Also, it's important to me that people can read
documents 5 years from now and more; sticking with a standard system
such as SGML, with standardized DTDs such as Docbook or MathML, means
that you're in pretty safe hands.  Finally, open standards help ensure
interopability.  Right now there's really only one viable SGML/DSSSL
process which is freely available (jade), but I think it's likely that
will change soon.

.....A. P. Harris...apharris@onShore.com...<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>

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