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XML between text book author and publisher


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I have authored several engineering textbooks. Up to now the author delivers a ready to print pdf to the publisher. Behind the pdf are a graphics program like Adobe Illustrator and writing software like MS Word, Adobe InDesign, or LaTeX. These components are under the full control of the author. He can manage the highly iterative process of creating a good textbook by drafting, checking and correcting, always seeing what later the reader will see.


My questions refer to the case that the publisher introduces XML into his production process of textbooks.
1. What does the author have to supply then?
2. Which software does the author have to use/learn instead of LaTeX (or Word or InDesign) – the output of which may be input for XML?
3. Is there any advantage or relief to be expected from xml from the author's point of view compared to the xml-free way?
4. Does the mentioned quality assuring course of iterative drafting and correcting fit into an XML using publishing process?

I would be glad if anyone would respond to my five (see p.s.) questions. If there are weblinks dealing with my concerns please advise.
Best wishes




5. Computer scientists probably jump for joy to manipulate xml with asp, attributes, children, css, dom, dtd, elements, html, javascript, metadata, nodes, parents, php, rdf, rss, siblings, subelements, tags, trees, well formation, wsdl, xslt, xlink, xpath, xpointer, xsd (to name just the tip of the iceberg). Is it advisable that a textbook writer who is focussed on his subject and on a depiction he has full control over, should immerse into this stuff?

Edited by xforu
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I can't really say much about the subject, since XML is such a vague thing. Did they provide software to generate the XML? What are the specifications of the XML they're asking for?


I don't really think any publisher would expect writers to know XML. Perhaps they're asking you to save your documents in an XML-based format, which the editing program probably can do, but they would need to specify which one.

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Thanks Foxy Mod,

I'm trying to collect more information. I still believe that delivering tex files (extremely well structured) and the used figure files plus the outcoming pdf is the best a publisher can get - even in XML times.

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