Your first choice solution - Conventional word processing systems offer WYSIWYG, but they are not rule-based or in a translation-friendly form. Furthermore they are manufacturer specific and PDF/paper centered.

It is completely different with XML: On the one side you will find contents/structure and on the other side layout/description. You can save the contents independent of manufacturer or layout which will guarantee longlasting stability and flexibility. This is a definite advantage if publications are created in different media and output layouts.

Rules and structures faciliate the work

XML documents are rule-based (DTD, XML-Schema): They can be formatted fully automatically in all languages which will guarantee a consistent presentation. A transparent structure facilitates the reuse of document text blocks. All elements and attributes are named at the semantic level conforming to guidelines. This enables program-based evaluations and links to other data sources.