Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 38958
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2017/10/23 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2005/8/3-4 [Computer/SW/Unix] UID:38958 Activity:low
8/2     I work at a company where we do all our engineering work on unix.
        But most of our documentation is done on MS Word. Each of us writes
        our own docs and someone combines everything in the end resulting
        in 600 pages of unreadable crap. I'm looking for a unix-based
        documentation tool that stores individual parts of a document
        in some sort of text format (like XML) and that lets multiple
        people collaborate on a single large document using revision
        control like CVS. Any suggestions?
        \_ DocBook is what you need
           \_ Thanks. This was the type of stuff I was looking for.
        \_ What's wrong with HTML?  -tom
        \_ latex!  i still haven't found a better alternative for this kind
           of collaborative work.  and try to reduce the amount of
           formatting people are allowed to do w/ some style conventions.
           i also put xfig figures in CVS and use makefiles to automate
           generation of EPS, PDF, etc. from these diff-friendly text
           \_ Ok, I'm one of those people who thinks that "Anyone can
              learn C++" or "anyone can learn unix". I mean, you'd be
              a total moron if you can't, right? But you can't
              reasonably expect most people to. "Grandma, I got you
              a new computer. All you have to do is check up on security
              updates, download a new kernel source tree, recompile,
              and install. It's not that hard. Anyone can do it."
              I'm not going to ask an entire group to learn latex.
              \_ I've found that M$ Word's "ease of use" is largely
                 illusory.  It's not that much harder to look up
                 and use \tiny for a text size than screw with a bunch
                 of menus and buttons.  And if you do it once and work
                 from a template, it's actually easier than using Word...
                 \_ This is a common mistake--Word's _overall_ "ease of use"
                    is a fairy tale.  However, getting it to quickly do basic
                    shit without too much fidgeting is a lot easier for Joe
                    Schmo than LaTeX or other, more powerful tools.  The same
                    goes for StarOffice and many other "wysiwig" toys, the only
                    difference is that Joe Schmo will eventually get a doc
                    written in word which "looks different" in StarOffice.  As
                    for your \tiny example, yes, for us it's not much harder.
                    However, for most non-technical people, and yes, they do
                    exist, something visual like a button is way more intuitive
                    than a line of text.  The danger of this, though, is that
                    most people/companies will inevitably want to do more
                    complex shit, at which they have already worked themselves
                    into a hole with buttons and similar "easy" crap. -John
                 \_ While I agree that LaTex is not that hard, especially
                    if he was to set up a nice standard set of macros
                    and scripts for everyone to use, I can see why a
                    Wysiwyg editor would be preferable.
        \_ How are you currently having your Unix programmers do
           documentation in Word?  Also, While LaTex is not that hard,
           especially if you were to set up a nice standard set of macros
           and scripts for everyone to use, I can see why a Wysiwyg editor
           would be preferable.  Unfortunatly, I don't know of a good one
           for this task in ANY OS.
           documentation in Word?
        \_ I believe this is the sort of thing Adobe FrameMaker was
           made for. You may also want to look into TeXmacs. I think
           the HTML suggestion is a good one, though.
        \_ Pick any other word processor that runs on your flavor of unix.  Or
           use OpenOffice 2 (you must be using a different machine for Word,
           right?).  Since no one knows how to use Word anyway, there won't be
           a retraining cost.
        \_ Why not use a wiki?
           \_ Probably depends on the kinds of control and approval issues they
              have.  My current client is really really word-dependent because
              they have such incredible regulatory and audit needs that they
              had to have some format that'd let them exercise a lot of
              control over changes (note that I am in no way advocating ms-word
              as a good way to do this.)  -John
ERROR, url_link recursive (eces.Colorado.EDU/secure/mindterm2) 2017/10/23 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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