Using elvis?

Telsa Gwynne hobbit at
Sat Jul 31 22:51:51 UTC 2004

I am really going to regret saying this. But...

On Sat, Jul 31, 2004 at 10:01:56AM -0400 or thereabouts, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> On Sat, 2004-07-31 at 03:22, Dave Pawson wrote:
> > > Having said that, because the DocBook tools are so easy, it's *FAR* more
> > 
> > I found them quite daunting to get installed and set up. I don't think
> > they are straightforward.
> > 
> > I agree with the rationale for using it though.
> Dave, you've just hit on something important. If getting the toolset
> installed or configured is a barrier, that means our "Documentation
> Guide" isn't doing its job, and should have some parts rewritten to make
> it easier to get your tools set up. Which part exactly gave you trouble?

My Docbook learning experience is a little while ago now, and I
expect a new one shortly. But the "which part" is easy:


I realise this is a holy war, and I understand that, once mastered,
it is a splendid tool. But I was used to the 'joe' editor, which
uses ^K to introduce a great many extended commands. (It is like
Wordstar, I gather.) Every time I stopped thinking and just typed,
I would fall back into joe habits, I would hit ^K, and bad things
(from my point of view) would happen. I still have no idea what
those things were, but they were bad. And other joe commands all
involve the control key. More bad things happened when I forgot
what editor I was in, or extrapolated from one to the other.

Eventually I just learned to write DocBook in joe. No tab
completion or anything, but so much easier on my brain and
my nerves.

I had to abandon joe because I needed the ability to edit UTF-8
characters. With much pain, I switched to vim. There are still
things I can't do with it, but I love it now. It was sufficiently
different from Emacs that I was able to learn it without 
accidentally typing things before thinking.

When I got involved in this, DocBook was SGML with DSSSL and
you used jade to build the HTML and jadetex to build a horrible
mess. Now it's XML with XSL/XSLT and I have more to learn, and
I fear the new learning curve. But I really don't fear it as
much as learning a new editor.

I am sorry. I do not think this is the answer you wanted to
hear! But for me, the problem was an editor that didn't seem
to fit me, for which every manual was written.

As for installing, I am the wrong person to comment, because
from my point of view it has become a lot easier. (But it was
hell before.) I just ensure that DocBook and stylesheets are
selected in the install. And hope that they'll pull the rest
in. Hoorah for dependencies.


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