[Matrix-SIG] RE: Authoring tools (was Active arrays)

Travis Oliphant Oliphant.Travis@mayo.edu
Wed, 19 Jan 2000 15:38:17 -0600 (CST)

> As I'm sure Travis knows but maybe Paul and others don't, Docbook is an
> XML/SGML markup, it's not an editor.  I would hate to have to write tables
> with it.  Serious writing w/ docbook requires a serious SGML/XML editor,
> although I suppose most users are just using emacs.  I also suspect that
> DocBook is overkill for NumPy doc, if it's overkill for Python's main doc
> (in the opinion of Fred Drake, IIRC).

Probably, true, but what is Fred using for Python's documentation :-)?
> LaTeX allows people to define macros and makes writers think like
> programmers.  Bad idea. =)  Many many folks don't know LaTeX but would be
> able to pick up a WYSIWYG editor easily.

Not necessarily.  You don't have to write macros.  In fact, I rarely do.
Actually, I would suggest trying LyX (although it probably doesn't run on 
the MaC).  I use it constantly and I've really grown to like it.  It is a
WYSIWYM (What you see is what you mean) editor where you enter text
in a format that looks a lot like it will print --- it just doesn't try to
perfectly typeset as you go.  

It is very easy to pick up, and entering math is beautiful.  I'm actually
able to derive complicated expressions using this tool which has saved
lot's of scratch paper :-)  

For me it works great, but different people have different needs, of

> DocBook or other XML/SGML markup is probably the way to go, but I'm still
> quite frustrated with the authoring tools.  Whenever I have to match tags I
> feel like i'm back on the IBM VM/CMS machine on a 3278 terminal.  There's a
> *reason* we have megapixel displays!  There's *a point* to the megabytes of
> memory being used by graphics subsystems!  There's *value* in the decades of
> work in user interfaces.  There's *truth* to the feeling my mom has that the
> Mac is easier to use than Unix.  </deep breath>.  Sorry, I had to get that
> off my chest.

> Finally, there's StarOffice, but it seemed quite immature the last time I
> checked.  It is available free for Unix and Windows.
> http://www.sun.com/staroffice/

I've used it and it works like Word (which is why I don't use it :-) ),
equations are a pain to enter and it want's me to fuss with how the final
format is going to look when I just want to fuss with the content.

> I propose that this discussion be shelved until Developer Day at the
> conference, and that we figure out in the DOC-SIG section what Python's
> going to do for its core doc, and follow along.  Synergy.

No problem.  Fill me in on how the discussion goes.