Software solution for multi-lingual multiple media nightmare?

Subject: Software solution for multi-lingual multiple media nightmare?
From: Antoine Morin <amorin -at- AIX1 -dot- UOTTAWA -dot- CA>
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 1997 12:17:58 -0400

I am simply a biologist, and am not familiar with the tools of the trade
in publishing that some of you may cherish. Any suggestions or comments
steering me in the right direction would be most appreciated.

I am publishing, for my courses, lecture notes containing photos,
diagrams, equations, tables, etc. I now publish these both on the web,
and on paper. I find it quite tedious to keep track and maintain these
two versions already.

My difficulties are compounded by the fact that I teach in both english
and french. Therefore, I have 4 versions of everything to maintain. This
is getting out of hand.

I presume that I am not alone facing such difficulties. Beside using a
lot of "huile de coude" (i.e. just bite the bullet, do it all by hand
and grow old doing it), what tools exist to streamline the editing and
maintenance of multiple versions of course material, while allowing easy
publication to paper and web documents?

I am not satisfied with the low-end html conversion tools of common word
processors (Word, WordPerfect), both because of the quality and
granularity of the resulting html files, and because of the difficulties
associated with the maintenance of both the french and english version
when they are in separate documents. I'd be tempted to develop a
database back end to contain the text and graphics, but stumble on the
problem of equations and tables. Moreover, I do not really have the time
to develop this application myself. I'd rather purchase off the shelf
tools. But I want something that is here to stay, not a solution for
today that will be obsolete and incompatible in a couple of years.

SGML seems the way to go to handle the multiple media aspect. What about
the multilingual aspect?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Antoine Morin
Biologie, Universite d'Ottawa
30 Marie Curie, Ottawa, Ont., Canada K1N 6N5
amorin -at- uottawa -dot- ca
Visitez BIODIDAC (

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