[1508] in Coldmud discussion meeting

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Re: Reference Manual updates

daemon@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Thu Dec 2 13:28:47 1999 )

From: "Steven J. Owens" <puff@netcom.com>
To: coldstuff@cold.org
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 10:05:52 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <199912011921.LAA20148@taller.eng.sun.com> from "Jeff Kesselman" at Dec 1, 99 11:21:48 am
Reply-To: coldstuff@cold.org

Jeff Kesselman writes:

> >Of course keeping it in a word format is also an option, just not on my
> >list ;)
> I THINK this falls into "if your gonna sue volunteers ya gotta let
> em use the tools they're comofrtable with".

     I agree with your first premise (above) but not with your conclusion.

> The vast majority of the non-geek world 9and i thin keven the good
> majoprity of the geek world) have moved beyond text editor and lay
> out macros And don't really want to return.

     I think the majority of the geek world recognize that the
majority of the "advancements" beyond text are just bloat and feature
creep.  Now if you wanted to maintain the docs in FrameMaker format
(one of the two premier technical doc publishing tools, the other
being InterLeaf), I could see some advantages to that, but Word just
frankly sucks.  Word's main two advantages are that almost everybody
has it and almost everybody is at least familiar with it.  Not exactly
stellar features, IMHO. Most people'd probably be just as happy with
any decent WYSIWYG editor that can read their legacy data files.

> Best solution would be to find a reasonable intermiediary from that
> word can write and that can be translated automaticly to what you
> want, Brandon.  (As a side note, you CAN read PDF, if you can run
> Java. There is a JAVA PDF viewer available form Adobe.)

     What's wrong with HTML?  Or how about adding something like
JavaDoc to the Cold stuff?  One possibility I'd suggest is, if people
really want to use Word, why not have a special set of styles meant to
be used in generating HTML output (not that I'd trust Word's output to
HTML, having spent some painful hours working with such output in the
past).  Or find some relatively painless XML format that can be easily
translated into infotext, Word, and HTML as needed.

> Word writes a LOT of formats. One I knwo f thats suppsoed top be
> resonably portable is RTF...

     You'd think, huh?  RTF is vigorously undocumented.

Steven J. Owens