Shopping For Composition Software

Subject: Shopping For Composition Software
From: <Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 06:58:34 -0700

I'm in need of advice about which sort of software to get. Here at the
company I work for we've been using an ancient composition engine called
Xyvision, which is installed on a Unix sever. Today I learned that the
server has died and (probably) won't be repaired. And though there
aren't many tears being shed over this fact, the Xyvision program that
ran on it could produce some pretty amazing documents (it darn well
better have for $70,000) and I'm at a loss as to how to replace it.

I need to be able to import existing text, probably tagged already
(SGML, HTML, custom markup). And I need to be able to flow the text. The
capabilities I need are probably better described by explaining that my
previous document creating methods involved, for example, converting
SGML markup to a custom markup, creating extensive style libraries to
control the format of the particular job, then composing thousands of
pages -- with minimal tweaking of individual pages. Most systems, that
I'm aware of (PageMaker 5 for instance), tend to require a lot of
manipulation on each page of the document, something that's impractical
for the huge number of pages that I need to create. Most of the work
needs to be done before the document is composed and rendered on-screen.

I'm sure that I've stated my case clumsily, but I'm relatively unaware
of the software world outside of the hothouse I've been working in for
many years. I'd very much appreciate any help that I can get.

Below are some examples of pages created using Xyvision software:

Brian Henderson
Mitchell 1


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