Martin Fowler on Soft Documentation

2006-12-14, , Comments

A while ago I wrote about my experience of writing a user manual using a DocBook toolchain. DocBook uses XML to structure your document’s content in a presentation-neutral format; you then apply XSLT transformations to render the document in various forms — in my case, chunked HTML and printable PDF.

More recently I found myself at Martin Fowler’s website, reading an article titled “Writing with XML”. Although he hadn’t adopted DocBook as his XML starting point, his experiences and conclusions overlap considerably with my own. One extra bonus he found was that using an XML master document provided a good start for testing the code samples in his book.

To summarise this summary: I think we’d both do it the same way again!