Chapter 1. A Revolutionary Concept

1. What is Borges?
1.1. Features
2. Choosing Borges
2.1. Do I need it?
2.2. Is Borges for me?
3. Some Vocabulary

1. What is Borges?

Borges is an open source extensible document management system aimed at XML-aware documentation projects. It's main purpose is to optimize internationalization (many languages, translations), reusable content and teamwork.

The main philosophy behind Borges is to provide a convenient tool:

  • For beginners: by providing a very simple interface to compile XML DocBook documents into various formats.

  • For advanced users: by providing a whole set of customization features allowing you to easily tweak every single aspect of the system: output formats and layout, custom rules, etc.

  • For project managers: by providing a powerful project tracking system to juggle authors and translators, deadlines, etc.

1.1. Features

The supported DTDs are DocBook and TDB (Training DocBook), a subset of the DocBook DTD written for the training manuals of MandrakeSoft. Adding external DTDs is very easy, even though the revision checking system is currently tighty-linked with the DocBook DTD.

Currently, the system allows you to:

  • Compile the source files into PDF, PS and (X)HTML whether they be complete documents or just modules (component parts of documents);

  • Compile multilingual documents. This allows you to have, for example, a booklet in 2, 3 or more languages.

  • Manage different versions of a single document by easily defining derived versions based on conditional parts;

  • Assign work to the project's participants. Each module is assigned a set of authors: writers, translators and proofreaders; each one responsible for one state of a module. Each contributor can easily review his attributions through web pages, and receive e-mails with his currently assigned tasks;

  • Track the work in progress. From the whole project (made of various documents) to the most basic components (paragraphs), and their translations. Notify the project's administrator by e-mail about the work not yet assigned;

  • Define the workflow of the modules. The workflow is the set of states a module goes through during its “life”. Different projects might have different workflow needs, and different enterprises have different workflows. Usually, the workflow begins with the “write” task and finishes with a “lang_proofread” task.

  • Track the state of each module according to the workflow. Once a task is completed, the corresponding state is passed and the module switches to the next state;

  • Perform work on modules through a web frontend. Project participants can work on modules (write, translate, proofread) using a web frontend which greatly simplifies participation of “remote” authors in a project allowing them to work without the need to have Borges installed on their computers.

Quick facts about Borges:

  • Automatic management of images in EPS, PNG, JPEG, XFig formats;

  • Automatic management of global and local (per-document) external entities;

  • Automatic management of modules as external entities.