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Good docbook editors

May 27 2008

Docbook is a great standard for technical documentation, it is easily converted into a range of formats (html, pdf etc) and while it can be styled according to taste; the layout is always familiar.

When I first started using Linux you had to read a lot of documentation - and it was mostly in docbook format so I got kind of used to it.

But it’s a rich standard - making it much harder to learn than HTML.

And there don’t seem to be many good editors for it.

OpenOffice

Templates available and can save as docbook - but for me it doesn’t produce valid documents

Lyx

This only ever supported a subset of the docbook standard, and whil it is quite nice to use docbook support seems to have faltered: it doesn’t work for me.

Quanta

The KDE web editor, provides some supportive utilities but is basically a syntax highlighted text editor in this role.

and there are others…

http://wiki.docbook.org/topic/DocBookAuthoringTools

But nothing that really grabbed me…

until I found

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/os-eclipse-docbook/index.html

I can use Eclipse to create the docs :-)

It’s not a WYSIWIG editor, but it does know which elements can go where

Which softens the learning curve a lot.

and it does validate the document for you

Meaning that when I create the output - it just works!

I’ll post more when I’ve written some actual documentation.