[Ubuntu-manual] Releasing manuals less often, ditching translations

Khaled Hosny khaledhosny at eglug.org
Mon Nov 8 12:53:05 GMT 2010

On Thu, Nov 04, 2010 at 10:31:42PM +0000, Denise N. Wood wrote:
> Hi all,
> I will be honest -- I haven't contributed ANYTHING yet. This is
> entirely because I haven't had the chance to sit down and fiddle with
> LaTeX and didn't know what to work on even if I did.
> There was an idea that Benjamin had mentioned, ages ago, about an
> integrated website where a user could click on a paragraph and be able
> to "edit" it. I'd assume this would be more a submission of an edit
> suggestion which would then be sent to a reviewer.
> If there were a different way to edit the text, before putting it into
> LaTeX for the publishing, that would probably make everything A LOT
> easier. Perhaps using that site that you were using for shared meeting
> notes?

I totally agree, though I'm familiar with LaTeX, I don't think it is the
best starting format when translation is involved, the peculiarities of
LaTeX raises the bar for most translators. It would have been cleaner if
the manual were authored in some XML based format (DocBook) for example,
when can be converted to LaTeX for actual typesetting. DocBook will
usually have less formating tags than LaTeX, and being XML based it can
be easily validated by standard tools (the only reliable way to validate
TeX is to pass it through TeX engine).

DocBook (or other XML formats) have the advantage of being easily
converted to more output formats, like HTML or even EPUB, which can be
very beneficial (though LaTeX can be coerced to generate HTML it is
rather a big dirty hack and unreliable).


 Khaled Hosny
 Arabic localiser and member of Arabeyes.org team
 Free font developer

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