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Old 08-27-2007, 06:28 AM   #1
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docbook or latex

I want to write big document (say reports) ( sometimes with math symboles and functions, not always).
Which is better and in which cases, I have to use docbook or latex??

thanks for help
Old 08-27-2007, 06:51 AM   #2
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I'd go for TeX (LaTeX isn't the only TeX package), but it needs you to learn the basics so you can work speedily without thinking about the TeX structure all the time. If you do use formulas, it's definitely (read: in my mind definitely) the best thing you can get your hands on. Just let it deal with the output and don't try to turn TeX into a Word (wordprocessor) or anything..

If you like them both, you can of course use both of them; depending on the document style, select the tool that suits best for it. The output is important, not the tool itself. I suggest you read more about TeX (from Wikipedia for example, if you're in a hurry) so you understand more about what it is, what it is not and what it is meant to be used for. I believe TeX differs from docbook in so many places that you do know, after studying their "theory", which one to use for whatever documents you create.
Old 08-27-2007, 08:18 PM   #3
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If you are O'Reilly Publishing, or maybe Boeing, then you love DocBook because that is what they use for everything. DocBook is a semantic markup-language which uses HTML-like (XML) tags to describe what various parts of a document are, that is to say, what they mean (not what they "look like").

You can indeed mix other markup-languages within a DocBook: yes, you can (for example) build equations and diagrams and so-forth in a DocBook.

The thing that you should be carefully considering now is, what do you need to expect from the tool that you select? What are your requirements? What's important, and what's not? There is a huge amount of material on the web about various aspects of electronic technical publishing.
Old 08-28-2007, 06:33 AM   #4
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Google tells me that docbook2latex and latex2docbook translators both exist.

I've used TeX/LaTeX for years. One of the best things is the huge variety of add-ons created by the user community, although there is a learning curve to make use of it.

I never used Docbook. How does the document get transformed into printable format? Is the result as polished as TeX with its sophisticated page formatting, line-breaking and hyphenation algorithms?


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