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Re: docbook for papers/theses

<quote who="Stefano Zacchiroli" date="Thu, Feb 01, 2007 at 10:36:40AM +0100">
> On Wed, Jan 31, 2007 at 07:33:08PM -0500, Benj. Mako Hill wrote:
> > Now that I'm back to thesis writing this year, I've not wasted a whole
> > lot of time choosing LaTeX. Bibliography related issues were the major
> > reason.
> Same here, I use Docbook regularly (mostly for Debian-related stuff,
> writing sub-policies, manpages, but also for the gnome documentation of
> our proof assistant: Matita), but I firmly refuse to use for the thesis.
> Some reasons:
> - both ways to obtain decent PDF output have issues:
>   - via XSL-FO: output quality with current fop is terrible, being in
>     touch with a fop developer I know a new release which is much better
>     is on the run, but it's like 1 year he keep on telling me so :)
>   - via dblatex (hence passing through LaTeX): quality is nice but to
>     obtain decent LaTeX output---and I guess you're as perfectionistic
>     as me in that---you really have to work *a lot* on customizing the
>     XSL stylesheet ==>> lot of work

I did the latter. Running it through LaTeX made it look much better.
It's a bit of work but it's not absolutely horrible since strict
academic formatting tends to be a lot less fancy so the process is
largely reductive.

> - I already have a BibTeX source for documentation, which is shared by
>   my research team. Sure (I guess) I can convert it to something which
>   is nice with DocBook, but it's just an additional, unneeded step

At least when I tried it last, it was rather complex and involved two
different programs and (unbelievably) a MySQL database.


Benjamin Mako Hill

Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so
far as society is free to use the results. --RMS

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