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Subject: DOCBOOK-APPS: Re: [Fwd: [Fwd: First Open Source Documentation Summitat the O'Reilly Open Source Convention]]

> I don't think anyone is defending DSSSL's future; we are just
> expressing that same desire you state, for a means to transform
> DocBook files into printable pages, and speculating that the shortest
> path is through using TeX/LaTeX as the intermediate format.  

the shortest path is a formatter than reads XML and writes
PDF. curiously. TeX is that animal, sort of. But it is not good at

> That raises the question: What is the _shortest_ path to DB->Print?

Framemaker etc

> Are there _any_ free XSL tools mature enough for real-world use? 

Xalan, Saxon, Oracle, XT etc are robust and reliable XSLT
implementations. there are no seriously reliable XSL FO tools

> is xmltex and is it sufficient to transform a 700-page book? Is the

xmltex is a set of TeX macros that let it parse XML natively. yes, of
course it can do 700 pages, if you can express your style as you want. its
just TeX. the problem is the limitations imposed by the XML reading. have
a look at the example .xmt files in the distribution on CTAN. basically it
reads an XML file and loads a set of style specs for each namespace, which
look something like


the first {} is where you specify attributes

> answer in Xalan or Xerces or one of those other questionably
> pronounceable java tools? ;) 
good tools, but they are not formatters. FOP is the formatter and its not
as good as TeX - yet. it may be one day. they havent even started on
hyphenation yet

 >Do we really want to re-invent the
> very mature typesetting features of TeX?

probably, yes, because TeX is not looking like a portable component
> I am certain I am not alone in this.  I'd gladly migrate my DSLs to
> XSLs if I could find the documents and the tools, but even Norm's book
> sidesteps how to affect these basic transformations.

i'd say that the XML tools are more or less as good as the SGML
ones. Norm's Docbook stylesheets are not as mature, but getting
there. HTML generation is as good. theer is no RTF generation around that
I know of - gee what a loss. the print formatting is not quite as mature,
either, but the big virtue is multiple suppliers competing to implement FO

> As an aside, is it a requirement that a DB->Print may need to
> accommodate the LaTeX stylesheets required by many academic and trade
> publishers? 
doe any reputable publishers still specify LaTeX????

 >That may be another good reason to consider real-LaTeX as
 > the intermediate form.

a high level Docbook to LaTeX transform really is a separate project from
the generic DB->print. doing it might be useful; it would be trivial, once
you decided what the mapping was


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