Reinoud van Leeuwen wrote:
>>I also think that pure Latex would be the best choice. It's convertible into 
>>a 
>>lot different formats and can be edited just using a simple text editor.
> 
> Isn't Docbook a better choice? Is is specially designed for documents like 
> this, and easily parsable. lots of tools around. 
> It can (AFAIK) be read and written by Open Office or any text editor. 

I have used and continue to happily use DocBook for my book. I indeed
use db2latex to convert it to LaTeX because that's what the publisher
wants. You can also easily create HTML, manpages or PDFs (via XSL-FO).

I use emacs and nxml-mode to edit DocBook. nxml-mode gives me on-the-fly
validation and schema-based auto-completion. It makes me very
productive. I've never tried using OpenOffice and I'm not sure whether
its changes would actually leave existing whitespace intact (this would
be crucial for decent diffs).

By the way (1), I would very much recommend against LaTeX. I don't think
everyone knows how to use it properly (I sure don't). I also think it
does too much at a time (being a typesetting tool that also stores the
content you're trying to typeset). With DocBook or similar formats, you
can edit what matters, the content, and worry about what it's going to
look like later.

By the way (2), I also don't totally agree with Stephan on reST. I think
reST is a powerful tool and often underestimated. When parsing reST
text, docutils builds a DOM-like object structure which can easily be
serialized into XML and then to anything. The standard rst2html and
rst2latex scripts provided by docutils are only two possibilities. The
thought of switching my book to reST has crossed my mind two or three
times even, but for now I'm staying with the technology that I know and
that works.

Philipp

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