I wanted to use DocBook when I started the manual, but I couldn't find a decent editor at the time to make it more bearable to write, and the HTML conversion tools I tried seemed pretty cumbersome and hit-and-miss. There were some decent commercial tools for it but nothing that great in the open source department - hence why I plumped for Tex too, since it's quick to write, and the HTML tools actually worked.
Things might have changed now and DocBook might have better and more usable free tools, but often you have to just go with what works, rather than take a purist approach.
@xavier: we all know you don't like the wiki, but it isn't a book, and thus should not be judged on the same criteria. It's a distillation of community knowledge, and yes that means that quality and style are not consistent, but you have to take the good with the bad - and the good is that the wiki is constantly being updated with useful information, far more than if it were locked down to the extent required of a book.
Saying it isn't like a book really isn't the point, and reflects more of your personal preference / expectation than the base utility of it. Books gain in consistency, quality and readability. The wiki gains in being more actively updated (since a book is static) and covering a wider range of topics. They do different things, and both are valid learning tools - the fact that you don't like the style of one of them doesn't mean other people don't find it useful. I think the prevalence of wikis in open source projects of all kinds show that people do - we even use one at work for internal developer tips and guides that don't fit into official documentation; when you have a good tip it's essential to put it somewhere
rather than nowhere, and a wiki is fast to use, and searchable, meaning it's far more likely to get used than traditional Word deliverable docs. I would far rather a hint / tip was placed in an unstructured (but searchable) wiki than sit invisibly in someone's TODO list for writing up 'properly'.
You will never square the circle of being 'very actively updated' and 'high quality reviewed material', (well, perhaps without dedicated staffers
). They are diammetrically opposed when your primary resources are a community. IMO you're better to have 2 different resources which each major in one particular direction, then you have both bases covered.