I am trying to devise a (possibly easy) way to replace our documentation system.
Currently we are bound to two different and apparently irreconcilable systems:
- internally we use a wiki system based on textile.
- all external documentation is MSWord formatted.
Both systems have (strong) shortcomings:
- Textile cannot really produce professionally-looking documents (and all "converters" actually suck) as it is meant to produce html output.
- MSWord can produce "nice" PDFs, but it leaves a lot of leeway to writer and, most important, it's hard to automatically produce documentation (we use a lot of code generation which could be used also to produce tables and such to be included into docs).
LaTeX is surely capable of delivering the kind of (PDF) documents we need (front page, custom header and footer, page watermark and such) without resorting to MS stuff.
I have a certain amount of (outdated) knowledge about LaTeX and I think I could manage to setup a suitable page template and some special-purpose code generator for our needs.
Question is: what is the currently advised page layout package to use for such a purpose?
I used "memoir" to write my previous-life documentation (book, actually) generator; is it still a valid choice? Should I stick to "plain" styles with helper classes (e.g.; fancyhdr)? There are so many packages I am a bit lost and I have troubles understanding what is "current" and what is "outdated".
Please note i do not want to start a holy war.
Bottom line: I would like to use some simple markup language (textile would be best choice because we already use it) to produce some code to ve inserted in a standard template (possibly hand-crafted) in order to produce "MSWord-quality" documentation (PDF).
I am fully prepared to write code to parse markup and to generate reasonably complex constructs.
I would like to avoid losing time exploring dead ends.
UPDATE: Clarification as suggested by @marmot:
What I am aiming at is:
- Prepare a custom Document template with our specifications; these include:
- Specific font selection
- Front page with customer logo
- Header with several logo images
- Footer with Title, revision and page "# of ##"
- A background (watermark) image.
- Table of revisions
- Table of content
- Definition of "standard" Table style
- Definition of "standard" multi-level enumerate/itemize lists.
- Definition of "standard" Chapter, Section, ... aspect (numbered).
- Be able to fill template with "blobs" produced from Textile (or markdown) snippets (possibly extracted from code or programmatically produced).
- Textile and similar markups are mainly geared toward web-page generation; that's not my need; I need find (or write) some suitable converter. Luckily I need a very standardized output.
- Some images should be produced by PlantUML, but that shouldn't be a problem as PlantUML is starting LaTeX support.