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The Wikipublisher project started with the modest goal of turning wiki pages into a form suitable for printing — to do a better job than a CSS print style-sheet, but not to set unrealistically high expectations. Since the project’s start in 2005, we kept raising the bar for the output quality we expect, so that Wikipublisher now produces results better than 99.9% of word processing documents. From a reader’s point of view, this means documents are consistently formatted, follow generally-accepted good layout practice, and avoid the common errors found in many documents. From the writer’s perspective, (s)he can focus on writing and not worry too much about Web and print presentation.

A Tip of the Week goes out as an e-mail more or less once a week to the people who belong to the Wikipublisher Discussion Group. This started as an extended form of FAQ, to give detailed answers to questions which came up over and over again in e-mails to the project. We soon discovered that the tips generate new questions and stimulate requests for new features. Since they include examples of the capabilities they describe, they have revealed several bugs and mis-features, leading to many incremental improvements. The tips are a handy reference source and an alternative to the User Guide.

The project proves the value of “standing on the shoulders of giants” to see farther than before. In particular we thank the following free software projects:

  • the PmWiki engine provided a markup-agnostic way of transforming wiki markup into XML
  • the LATEX document preparation system is still the state-of-the-art for computer typesetting
  • the tbook authoring project provided a way to transform XML into LATEX

We hope you find these tips interesting, useful, and occasionally fun. Most of the images are from old books.

John Rankin
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Page last modified on 18 July 2008 at 10:04 AM