Friday, November 7, 2008

LaTeX, DocBook, or Something Else?

Some publishers already produce books for multiple platforms (i.e., print form as well as at least one electronic format) from a single master source, and in some cases I know (or at least believe I know) the format:
  • O'Reilly: XML using the DocBook schema.
  • Pragmatic Programmer: XML using the PML ("pragmatic markup language," presumably) schema.
  • Artima Press: LaTeX.
I'd be very interested to know of decisions other publishers have made (even if the "publisher" is an individual) for master document source formats for multiple-platform publication. I'd also be very interested in comments on the advantages and disadvantages of any specific formats, including DocBook, LaTeX, and any others you have experience with.

3 comments:

Vasudev Ram said...

Hi Scott,

1. I recently came across the EPUB standard and document format for ebooks - EPUB is an ebook format standard from IDPF.org. Saw about it (EPUB) via oreilly.com - toc.oreilly.com I think - in a post by Liza Daly of www.threepress.org.

[ She has developed some free open source software related to EPUB, including tools for converting DocBook to EPUB and an online EPUB books viewer. She seems to have very good prior experience in this field - has worked with/some leading companies including O'Reilly. ]

EPUB looks like an interesting format with some potential advantages over PDF. Liza describes some of them on one of her blogs, either a blog on www.threepress.org or on toc.oreilly.com, I forget which. If you can't find the post, you could contact her and she could probably give you a link to the post.

2. What is the Fastware project you're working on about?

3. I own and like two of your C++ books - Effective and More Effective C++.

- Vasudev Ram
Biz: www.dancingbison.com
xtopdf - quick and easy PDF - www.dancingbison.com/products.html

Vasudev Ram said...

Ok, I saw what Fastware is - read your blog post "Two projects in one".

- Vasudev

joan said...

Hi,
I know this is a very old post, but I wanted to add a comment ;-)

I use LaTeX for personal and technical documentation at home and at work.
I also like DocBook.
But honestly, I prefer LaTeX because it gives me more flexibility.
(I use Gummi editor, under Ubuntu 13.04)

best regards,
joan