RE: Software opinions needed

Subject: RE: Software opinions needed
From: Chris Gooch <chris -dot- gooch -at- lightworkdesign -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 11:04:31 -0000

Steve McDermott wrote:

My company is considering a new tool for contracts. Each contract would
have unique header info (customer, effective dates, etc., ad nauseum), but
would be restricted to about 12,000 variations. Each complete contract
would be about 100 pages, but the source info will be about 900 pages. It
is extremely text intensive.

Sandy mentioned you could look into an xml solution,
possibly based on the DocBook DTD. This is a good idea and
you should certainly look at it. If you want good quality
printed output you will probably also want to use TeX as
the formatter - lots of DocBook people do this.

You may however want to consider if you really need to
go the whole hog and use either xml or a database, when
you might be just as well to just use LaTeX for the whole
thing -- this may prove to be perfectly adequate and a whole
lot simpler to set up.

I think which you choose would depend on the degree
of complexity involved and the amount of future flexibility
required (e.g. can you envisage a future point where
someone makes a database/website query along the lines
of "does Fred Blogg's contract state that he can use
Feature X only after 11pm Pacific Time?" - if so you
need an xml database).


Christopher Gooch
Technical Author
LightWork Design Ltd, Sheffield, England.
chris -at- lightwork -dot- co -dot- uk

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