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From Bill Brooks <wbro...@lug.ee.calpoly.edu>
Subject Re: Docbook and FOP
Date Tue, 10 Oct 2000 23:31:30 GMT
On Tue, 10 Oct 2000, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> I'm writing my thesis in Docbook and I'd like to print it out using FOP.

You're not the only one doing this or wanting to do this, although for a
thesis? How are you handling typesetting math? Equations, tables, and
general math symbols are the only reason I'm still using LaTeX for some
documents :-) 

I'm trying to use DocBook for general software documentation. I started
using the things that the the Linux Documentation Project uses, but the
problem is that the LDP uses the cygnus-originated docbook toolchain which
depends on a very hairy, underdocumented combination of jade, the docbook
SGML DTD, TeX, and a bunch of other tools that mere mortals can't even get
to compile from source on something other than RedHat Linux or close
cousins. That's not a criticism; everyone including the authors of the
tools are aware of this.

I just want to produce HTML and PDF, and I just think I shouldn't have to
step through the incredibly hairball combination of jade, tex, etc to do
that. I think using XML:FO would be a godsend.

Norm's said recently that XSL processors aren't very mature, and the error
messages you posted in your e-mail would tend to confirm this, but on the
other hand, if I'm going to contribute to an open source effort to make
some tools meet my needs (what Eric Raymond calls "scratching an itch"), I
think it's going to be easier for me (and most future programmers) to
contribute to an effort focused on XML/XSLT/XML:FO than the hairball
SGML/DSSSL/pdfJadeTeX-based toolchain. 

> I'm using Norman's XSLT stylesheets to convert Docbook into FO and they
> stretch the XML/XSLT/XSLFO model to its limits.

I've just been getting started with FOP and Norm's XML DTD for docbook. I
understand now that OASIS has an "official" version of the XML DocBook DTD
now.

> [...message elided...]
>
> BTW, Norman, what did you use to render your FOs? It's evident that FOP
> was not used for that.

I'd also like to know the answer to that question.

Bill


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