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how the technique writer write the books?

steve zo
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 11, 2007
Posts: 1
Hello, everybody
Does there anybody have written some technique books ever or know others written some ever? I want to know how does they write the books, such as O'reilly authors, Manning authors, Apress,Wiley,Sams,Wrox....
which format is their manuscript? someone guessed "docbook", someone guessed "Tex"...
who could tell me which format(docbook? Tex? xml? text?..) they write manuscript? and which tool(MS Word? OpenOffice? notepad? vim? emacs?...) they used to write?

many thanks
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24168
    
  30

Hi,

Welcome to JavaRanch!

Each publisher will have a preferred format they want to work with. These days most editors make changes directly in electronic documents rather than by writing on paper, so the production work (and hence the writing itself) is usually done in Word. Layout is often done in Framemaker, but the author doesn't need to use that.

I wrote the chapters of my last book in TeX, then converted to Word for editing.


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60082
    
  65

Indeed. Manning authors are tethered to Word. Woe is us.

I've heard of another publisher (Pragmatic?) that uses a markup language and whose source chapters are kept under source control, with a build kicked off each night to produce the PDF versions of the chapters as they are written. Or maybe that's just a pipe dream.


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Pauline McNamara
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 4012
    
    6
No, not a pipe dream, I think that's Pragmatic's way. I'm in the middle of one of theirs right now, and I'm pretty sure the author mentioned using those tools.

Ah yes, here it is, in his acknowledgements:

"Big thanks go to Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt for creating the Pragmatic
Bookshelf. It is truly a company that is �of the developer, by
the developer, and for the developer.� You have no idea how happy it
makes me writing my prose in TextMate, using make to build the book,
and using Subversion to keep track of the revisions. Or maybe you do,
which is exactly my point."
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60082
    
  65

Originally posted by Pauline McNamara:
No, not a pipe dream, I think that's Pragmatic's way.
Now that's how to write books!

Manning, take notes!
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60082
    
  65

P.S. Need I express the pathological depths of my loathing for Word?
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8764
    
    5
Bear, I hear you man!

In fact, this might just be a wonderful MD topic

I'll start off by saying to Word: "Please stop trying to help me! When I want your help, I'll ask for it!"


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Darya Akbari
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 21, 2004
Posts: 1855
I use DocBook for our manuals with all its benefits
[ December 11, 2007: Message edited by: Darya Akbari ]

SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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