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[Discuss] LibreOffice and .docx files

On Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:43:13 -0500
Theodore Ruegsegger <gruntly at> wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 2:13 PM, Steve Litt wrote:
> > [Rationale for separating document content from presentation, as
> > embodied in Stylz]  
> Isn't this the raison-d'etre for DocBook?


> Last I looked, that seemed to be working pretty well, though it was
> difficult to find tutorials that didn't lose me in short order.

Your "though" clause is the raison-d'enre for Stylz. It's not just you
who gets lost in Docbook tutorials/documentation. And don't get me
started on XSLT. Choosing Docbook, one needs to be familiar with the
Docbook standard, and for practical purposes, with Emacs.

Everybody and their dog mentions Docbook as the solution to write-once,
read-everywhere, but finding people actually using it productively for
that purpose is extremely difficult.

> On the other hand, for the relatively simple documents I write from
> day to day, asciidoc is insanely easy to manage, and converts into
> TeX, HTML, PDF, or whatever with the flip of an option or two.

Asciidoc, AsciiDoctor, Markdown, and several other mini-markup
languages are excellent solutions when arbitrary compromises can be
made on the output appearance and perhaps structure, which is often.
They are perfect for whipping out a little magazine or short story or
set of instructions. They're very readable in their native format, and
almost trivial to write converters for. To some extent, you can extend
them with simple Python converters. In the case of AsciiDoctor, it
might be as full featured as Docbook or (unfinished) Stylz, but getting
AsciiDoctor to work that way is very, very challenging.

The mini-markup languages fail hard when writing whole books in which
consistency is a must, and specific style to appearance conversions are
needed. This is because you can't create your own arbitrary paragraph
and character styles in the mini-markups: You must use a built in style
that's meant for something else. Which means your emphasized text,
quotation text and story text will all look like each other.

> How does Stylz differ from DocBook and its derivatives?

The unfinished Stylz differs from DocBook in that it doesn't yet work,
it will NEVER be as completely and utterly versatile as Docbook, and
it will be an order of magnitude easier to learn and use. It will be
built for speed for the touch-typist, will be equally useable on all
text editors. It will probably be faster to author than Docbook.

You didn't ask how it differs from mini-markups like Asciidoc or
Markdown,  but I'll answer that anyway: It will have unlimited
paragraph and character styles to use, and hopefully unlimited
containers too. When Asciidoc and Markdown can no longer fill your
needs, Stylz is where you'll turn.


Mike Small mentioned , which is an
improved man page authoring tool. From what I learned skimming the
link, mandoc has been created exclusively to create man pages, to the
extent that its styles have a 1 to 1 correspondance with the semantics
of a man page. This is great for man pages, but it would probably be
easier to complete Stylz or use Docbook/XSLT than to broaden the usage
of the very specific mandoc.

Steve Litt 
December 2017 featured book: Thriving in Tough Times

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