Documentation file format

Christian Stimming christian at
Sat Dec 14 16:32:52 EST 2013

Am Freitag, 13. Dezember 2013, 15:47:18 schrieb Mike Evans:
> > >> Given these priorities, I think both our current documentation file
> > >> format and also a potential wiki workflow might not be the best
> > >> solution. Instead of the current file format (docbook xml, split into
> > >> several files using xml entities) we should very well think to switch
> > >> to some other solution that makes the text much more accessible for
> > >> documentation writers. 
> > >> 
> > > Since no-one has mentioned it yet, what about asciidoc?  It's much
> > > simpler that the xml we have now, is very easy to learn, it is plain
> > > text, it handles multi-part books, and AFAIK the current docbook can be
> > > converted to asciidoc without *too* much effort.

I consider asciidoc also not very accessible for non-programmer writers. IMHO 
a new file format for our documentation should be much easier accessible for 
documentation writers. Those people are by definition almost surely no 
programmers. I don't think the mindset of asciidoc meets their approach to 
writing documentation. So: no, I don't think asciidoc is an improvement of the 
current docbook format. Sorry.

> Conversion: I found a conversion tool that I *thought* might do the job,
> SaxonHE9, a java tool (ugh), but it doesn't do it very well.  I tried a
> couple of pages.  Some post conversion cleanup was needed to remove
> artifacts but, the major issue was that image placeholders went missing. So
> not good enough to make it an easy convert.  More research required on that
> one.

A proper conversion needs to be found for sure, but on the other hand, some 
manual work for a switch-over is fine as well. But the main reason for a new 
file format is what I've discussed before.



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