+<latemp_subject "Choice of Document Formats" />
+<latemp_meta_desc "Choice of Document Formats" />
+<latemp_more_keywords "HTML, DocBook/XML, POD, TeX, LaTeX, documents, formats, document formats, perl, wiki, MediaWiki" />
+<h2 id="about">About this Document</h2>
+This is an overview of popular file formats, which is
+derived from a reply I wrote to a thread in the
+<a href="http://mail.pm.org/mailman/listinfo/boston-pm">Boston Perl Mongers
+<h2 id="toc">Table of Contents</h2>
+<h2 id="meta">Document Information</h2>
+<a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/">Shlomi Fish</a>
+<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/"><img
+alt="Creative Commons License" class="bless"
+This work is licensed under a
+<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/">Creative
+Commons Attribution 2.5 License</a>.
+<h2>The Article Itself</h2>
+A previous correspondent wrote:
+I'm not aware of any POD based Wikis, but it doesn't seem like it would
+be hard to merge the two approaches, with a "traditional" web-facing
+wiki front-end that stores things as a POD-like syntax on the back.
+This way, you get the collaborative editing and there are already tools
+out there to convert the POD source to PDF etc.
+I think <a href="http://www.kwiki.org/">Kwiki</a> has a
+plugin for <a href="http://perldoc.perl.org/perlpod.html">POD (Perl's so-called
+"Plain, Old, Documentation")</a>.
+Just a note about POD: POD is incredibly limited. Some things that you may
+want to try to do with it are not possible. It is not the only generic format
+available, however. One option is naturally
+<a href="http://www.docbook.xml.org/">DocBook/XML</a>, which can be
+translated into HTML as well as PDF, Microsoft Word, LaTeX and other
+formats. It cannot be directly translated to plain text, but can through
+an intermediate format. POD can be translated into DocBook/XML using
+Don't use the original module by Alligator Descartes which is the still the
+default on <a href="http://www.cpan.org/">CPAN</a> out of being
+Dead Camel</a>. It is old and broken and has been unmaintained for a long time.
+Note that the DocBook generated may not be perfectly semantically-correct due
+to the fact DocBook is richer than POD.
+Other alternatives for such markups that are somewhat
+text-with-brief-style-specifiers can be found in
+They all can be converted to HTML and some of them to DocBook too. One Wiki or
+another is also an option, but note that they tend to have incompatible
+formats, and some may not have an ability to export as DocBook. I like the
+<a href="http://www.mediawiki.org/">MediaWiki</a> format which is an
+<a href="http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl">UseModWiki</a> (and its
+<a href="http://www.oddmuse.org/">Oddmuse Wiki fork</a>, which should be
+better.), but I think that DokuWiki's format is
+also quite good. I really dislike the default Kwiki format, and despite all
+the flood of Kwiki plugins, no-one has written a
+UseModWiki/Oddmuse/MediaWiki-subset format for it yet. I keep intendening to
+do that, but I could not find the time yet.
+You can also try to use XHTML 1.1 with semantic markup of elements for use
+as a good generic markup.
+All that put aside, I should note that if you are thinking about using TeX or
+LaTeX, please re-consider. Tex/LaTeX are very convenient for generating
+<q>The only thing that can understand TeX is tex</q>. I believe it was said
+much earlier than when Tom Christiansen ported it to the Perl world. It is in
+fact much more true for TeX than it is for Perl.
+Conversion of LaTeX to DocBook or HTML often doesn't work quite well.
+Often, the tools are outdated and generate old or invalid HTML, and often
+they break on more than complex LaTeX. TeX and LaTeX are Turing-complete, and
+the syntax is incredibly problematic.
+LaTeX has poor support for hypertext, and other PDF niceties.
+PDF and PostScript, which are the default-and-least-error-prone TeX
+formats, have relatively poor accessibility and internationlisation. For
+example, from my understanding Bi-directional text (mixed Arabic-English
+text, etc.) is rendered visually.
+It is easier to convert semantic XHTML or DocBook/XML to LaTeX than the
+LaTeX is much less verbose than DocBook/XML, but I think you can find a less
+problematic format. It is is still excellent for writing texts with lots of
+mathematical formulae, but still a very problematic format. When working with
+LaTeX I often get obscure TeX errors that I can't tell immediately what
+exactly went wrong. In DocBook/XML it just reports that one tag is missing, or
+that the order of tags are incorrect, which takes me much less time to solve.
+Going full circle now - POD is a good option if it does what you need. The
+Camel Book and other perl books were written in POD. I wroted some
+documentation for Perl and non-Perl projects in POD. I also write all my man
+pages in POD because nroff scares me.
+But if you feel that you want something better, you have many options.
+<b>P.S:</b> DocBook/XML is problematic for using in Bi-Directional texts
+because of implementation problems. Otherwise, its Unicode support should be
+<h2 id="coverage">Coverage and Comments</h2>