Documentation file format

John Ralls jralls at
Sun Dec 15 20:02:48 EST 2013

On Dec 15, 2013, at 11:58 AM, Mike Alexander <mta at> wrote:

> On Dec 15, 2013, at 8:13 AM, Geert Janssens <janssens-geert at> wrote:
>> Or if we want to stick with docbook, I searched for docbook wysiwyg. Most editors are 
>> proprietary and pricey. But there is also serna-free [1], which claims to be a near wysiwyg 
>> editor that can handle docbook 4 (according to a nabble thread from last year August [2]). I 
>> haven't had time to experiment with it though.
> They certainly are expensive.  I used to be a developer on Arbortext's Epic product, now marketed as PTC Arbortext Editor.  It would be a good tool for this, but it is very expensive.  It's also essentially Windows only (there used to be a Linux version, but I'm not sure it's still maintained).  Things like that would perhaps be overkill for this anyway.  They are designed for very complex documents, like an aircraft parts manual.  Because of this, they assume a support staff that can help with setup and customization.
> There is a page at <> that lists a few cheap or free DocBook editors.  Also <> claims there is a free personal edition of XMLMind's XXE, but I can't find it.

Yeah, and the firebirdsql page claims that there’s a free edition of XMLSpy, but I couldn’t find any actual evidence of it. It’s also more of a technical editor aimed at web developers than something that would be suitable for authors. The cheapest version at is $500. The restrictions for the $99 license (not $48 claimed on the firebirdsql page) of are strict, but someone here might meet them, I suppose. A Regular license is $488. As you noted, the claim of a free version of XMLMind is also wrong. Regular price $330.

They’re wrong in the other direction for epcedit (, which is free-as-in-beer. It seems a bit technical, but unlike XMLSpy does have a WYSIWYG mode.

I tried pandoc. It doesn’t follow the entity links. The same is true of the Open Office importers. We can probably make a one-way conversion to ods, but there won’t be an easy way to get back to DocBook.

John Ralls

More information about the gnucash-devel mailing list