I'm Back!...

I have been "away" from creating web content for the past 6 years, due to needing to find a new "purpose" after b******t rapid transit was opened in 2012.

In that time, I have learned a bit of HTML5, CSS, and now there are DocBook tools available for FREE so I can easily output to various formats -- HTML, PDF, ePub/eBook, DITA, and anything new that comes up

With new HTML elements now, such as <section>, <article>, <footer>, <mark> HTML markup is becoming more and more like DocBook. And DocBook has included new elements that make it function like DITA (another IBM developed ML). I guess you call that "evolution".


This year I found two freeware DocBook editors that are a pleasure to use.

A Java-based DocBook, DITA editor. This tool is great if you are in the process of learning these two markup languages, as it will only display allowable elements.
XML Mind
A Java-based DocBook 5 editor, DITA editor, HTML Editor. This software can output to "chunked" HTML (each chapter is a separate web page), regular HTML, PDF 1.4, ePub (not working?)

Jaxe was the first freeware editor I found, and so was EMACS. Jaxe relies on FOP 0.95 to render output. XML Mind uses an up to date FOP 2.3.

Metro Corp. Documents Republishing Part 2

In the mid-2000s I had spent many enjoyable hours transcribing various transportation and city planning reports written by the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg and Norman Wilson & Associates.

One of them, "Downtown Winnipeg" (Metro, 1969) was originally created as a one-page HTML file and output to PDF. What I wanted to do at the time was to transcribe as DocBook and then output to chunked HTML and PDF. With the tools I have now, I can accomplish this. Read the DocBook version (chapters are separate pages) instead.

The other issue with the Downtown Winnipeg document is that it contains many simple tables. Easy to create, but because of not having an easy to use DocBook editor I had the tables but didn't want to lengthen the already lengthy HTML file. So I waited, and waited. It's been 12 years since.

Sometimes book writing can take this long.

A New Typeface

Something new in typefaces in the past year. Of course, I can now lean on Google fonts and there are a hundred or more.

IBM said that they didn't want to pay for use of Helvetica no more. So they contracted with a type foundry company to create IBM Plex. There are Regular, Light, Medium weights. Sans, Serif, Mono fonts in Plex. And the best part? Totally FREE.

I will endeavor to use IBM Plex as much as possible on this website. And I like Plex not because of the IBM in the name, but because the Medium and Regular weight versions are easy to read if you still have decent vision.

Doing structured authoring in HTML and having easy to use and affordable tools in DocBook are getting easier and easier as time goes on. The capabilities of structured authoring "for the rest of us" is now available to all who want it.

Better Support for SVG

image/svg+xml telidon graphics

Even though I had some SVG tools in Inkscape and OpenOffice Draw at the time and because SVG is basically Telidon on Steroids, there was weak support for the vector graphics standard in browsers of the day (MS IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera). Times have changed, and like a few years later can make a red wine taste better, so has a few years since the early- mid-2000 regarding support for SVG in today's browsers.

Document Re-release

For the time being here are some documents that I've been working on re-publishing.

Document DocBook (chunked HTML) PDF
Downtown Winnipeg (1969)
Greater Winnipeg Investigating Commission (1959)

Yeah, I'm back.