[Doc-SIG] converting tex? use of docbook?

Fred L. Drake, Jr. fdrake@acm.org
Wed, 25 Sep 2002 13:08:18 -0400

David Goodger writes:
 > Nobody has answered yet, so I'll give it a shot.  These are just my
 > opinions here, nothing official.

And what would constitute official anyway?  Sheesh!  ;-)  You're doing
just fine!

 > There has been discussion in the past, and there seems to have been
 > some consensus on moving towards XML, but I don't think there's enough
 > of a benefit to move away from the current TeX markup and toolchain.
 > The current setup is mature and works well ("it ain't broke"), so
 > there's little perceived need to "fix" it.

You got it!  For all the pain of parsing LaTeX markup, there's little
need to do so.  The light weight of LaTeX is actually quite

At the last Python conference, we discussed moving to XML for the
purpose of being able to use next-gen tools to support translation
efforts, but no one has even had time to summarize the discussion,
much less make progress on that front.

 > There's plenty of room for tech *writing* contributions.

That's certainly what I would think is most useful; markup can be
applied with relative ease once we have content.

 > C) Project standalone documentation.  These are documents specific to
 >    a project, and the markup used is up to the project contributors.
 >    Anything is possible here.

Not too surprisingly, I think an increasing number of projects are
using the Python LaTeX styles to do this.  In spite of LaTeX
disappearing in most places, the Python world is in an unusual
situation in that we have an easy-to-use markup built on top of
standard LaTeX with a variety of output formats (where the most common
forms actually look pretty good, IM(NSH)O).

Ian Atkin asked:
 > - are there any open tools (or chains) around to convert tex source
 > into xml (xslt scripts can do the rest)?

There's some stuff checked into Doc/tools/sgmlconv/, very specific to
the Python documentation format, and not always working.  It's in a
broken state now, but I've not had time to really look at the problem.


Fred L. Drake, Jr.  <fdrake at acm.org>
PythonLabs at Zope Corporation